Burnt Out

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    As the fires burn here in Australia in January 2020 I feel lucky and grateful that i have a home and the wildlife around me has too. I am not near the fires but i do feel for the crisis.

    December and January, a time where its very social for a person with Avoidance Personality and Social Phobia. Ive had this for years since i could remember. My whole 20s was basically agoraphobia and on my own living with my parents. Living in shame really. Then stints in between that of sexual and emotional abuse from a guy i tried to live without of the blue. Its a complicated story and completely forgiven and healed and even able to see the good and laugh at things and value the lessens, even if it took me 8 years to do so.

    Back 5  years ago i got my first job age 34. I know its embarrassing to say. But a weight lifted from me like nothing before and i became the independent confident person i got glimpses of in times i was well in the past. But i was actually living now. I was actually a part of society and didnt hide. I actually even took self care seriously regarding binge eating issues and loosing weight. I felt so good and added to my self care. Things started to feel on par like i finally had a foundation and finally knew what it felt like to actually live and be part of the world and socialise. Even if i just socialised with people from work at work and a few here and there – that was enough at the time and made me feel full. Socially full – a thing that i used to get so ill for not having anybody really. I used to eat in comfort of that.

    So that lasted for 3 years. But within those 3 years something happened that made me start to burn at both candles and that was my crush from work that made me want to self care myself in the first place, started to ask me out as friends and then later as a partner. I coming from low self esteem thought it was like striking gold that a guy like me. And that filled me up self esteem wise even tho i knew and was practising it comes from me and not him. My self esteem and identity and asserting of my values and self care.

    What i didnt do and what i did do where both things that have left me to be this burnt out shell of a person i am now. I let this guy who i was shaken by how mentally ill he was in the first place basically take over my life through his own dysfunctions. I didnt realise a person with schizophrenia was unable to take control and plan and know when they might feel a certain way later. I didnt know they didnt question things and were unable to make goals without alot of help and i didnt know that they basically couldnt manage their life like a normal person or that they couldnt concentrate on things and have issues with hygiene and not understand boundaries etc.

    The first time i was on a date with this guy we will call ‘Rick’ i drove in my car and we stopped at a look out where he talked jibberish about a girl from his old work he never got over and he ended up detained in psychosis. I just listened and i did know at the time i was out of my depth but really inside i need a guys attention to make me feel like my own past was overrun with a guy telling me good things about me. So i was responsible for my actions and very naive at the same time.

    Fast forward 4 years with this guy and im burnt out. That person i was high on life has left me and im obese and dealing with adrenal fatigue that my body last 2 years was in a dire state of bed time and aches and pains and chronic fatigue and brain fog, breathlessness.

    last year in 2019 i had to make a call and put myself first despite rick being helpful but seeing him struggle on his own in terms of not getting his needs in this relationship (ive struggled with that from the begining and i gave 110 percent whilst at first he took more than he could give). He has come a long way and ive seen my mark on him get better and better and its been humbling.

    He is one of the loyalist and sincere people u could ever meet. He knows me well and has been there for me. But at the same time ive had to endure an extreme amount of distress and dysfunction from him and when ive been so badly burnt have still mananged to listen in and help and so on. Having been burnt out its not really seen by those around me tho and it really is a huge struggle to keep up with daily things.

    My family had this huge xmas party where we hadnt seen anyone for years. All my cousins and uncles and everyone in between out the woodworks for the day. And it came at a time where i couldnt deal socially, when im at my lowest. Ive burnt and used out all my own self on rick and he is unable to understand and know that.

    Xmas was people just seeing me to the state i used to be. Overweight and shy and so fourth. When really inside i had comepletely overcome those things if it werent for getting myself burnt out in this relationship. And it made me feel like kicking myself inside because the people thier were on life highs and big moments in their lives i had to sit through green with envy and inferioty once again.

    And again, tomorrow i am going to see an old friend who moved overseas and my old school friends will be there. Again, i have to show this shell of myself as tho i never got over my own illness and i did- it got to manageable levels that i could function and be well and have self esteem and so on. But now others just get to see this shell. And it really has hurt a bit. But created determination to put myself first.


    Dear Karen:

    Welcome back. I just spent a few hours reading your previous threads starting February 2016.

    You shared before that you grew up with a mother who is severely hearing impaired and therefore communication with her was always severely lacking, but so was your communication with your hearing father. You grew up very much isolated within your small family where you still live on a five acre land with a nice view and lots of animals.

    In April 2016 you shared that before your job in 2015, you were “out of work for a very long time.. having been severely socially phobic for most of my whole adult life”, you shared that you were raped when you were 14, that at the time you accidently found your father’s “large pornography magazines hidden in a cupboard while you looked for lollies (lollipops), felt compelled to read them all, and that made you feel so uncomfortable around your father. At 15 you started to wet the bed every night, dropped out of last year of high school and “became agoraphobic for years”.

    You saw the first female therapist when you were 22, and stopped wetting the bed, but you were still socially phobic. At 24 (2007) you discovered a forum where people with body image problems (you self diagnosed yourself with Body Dysmorphic Disorder at one point) communicated and you got to chat with a man. You were “so naïve and smitten” and agreed to take the your first plane flight and visit him. Before you visited him, you “crash dieted and over exercised to 42 kg” (92.5 lb). You took that flight (a great achievement for a person with your fears), and felt euphoric for making the fight and for losing all that weight.

    But when you met him he “was not very friendly”, looked at you in disgust, wasn’t motivated to show you around the famous city where he lived, sat at his computer with his back turned to you when in his place, and raped you on the first night. The next morning he told you that you looked terrible and that if you weighed more you would be okay. You gained weight so to please him and stayed with him for four months. He slept with you often, “but no affection and even criticizing my body and how I look in bed- to how I walked and talked and everything in between”. When in public, he walked away from you “like I was an embarrassment (despite putting healthy weight on)”, he ate his food in a café and left you there to eat on your own.

    You wrote: “I don’t know why I stayed- I just wanted him to like me I guess”. Eventually he told you to leave on your own, then begrudgingly took you to the airport, dropped you off and “blasted away.. No wave”. Back home with your parents, you were “mute for 6 months. I didn’t talk to anyone.. didn’t even see the daylight”.

    From 2007 to 2015, you “had been very low in self esteem, overweight, and avoiding anyone except my parents and close family”, as well as your animals, finding it “hard to go out in public and to be around people.. so low in self esteem… severe anxiety and body image issues and insecurities”.

    And then 2015 came, and it “was one of the best years I have had in a very long time”, you were on disability at the time and didn’t have to work, but you took on a job. “And by doing that, my whole life has changed”. You met this guy at work, the guy suffering from schizophrenia, Nick. He followed you around, opened the door for you, talked to you a lot, and you developed a crush, volunteering to work on weekends just so to be around him. You lost weight, made “huge changes in my appearance and body image. For once in my life I started to like what I saw and discovered fashion for once and looked after myself”. Working there you discovered “a purpose and an identity- a hard worker and I developed muscles too”.

    December 2015, he asked you out for the first time, and the two of you spent New Year’s Eve having a meal, and spending the night at his place (a garage, part of his parents’ property), watching some films. You sat on one sofa and he sat on another, and later, the two of  you slept separately. You left the morning after. Following that night he didn’t ask you out for months, and you were anxious during those months, hoping he’ll ask you out again (“the worst part was the waiting”). Sometimes he flirted with you, at other times he ignored you, and you were confused.

    During that time, he told you repeatedly about a certain woman he used to know somewhat, a woman who had an “angel face”, so beautiful.. and he had lots of blond women photos in his Facebook, a few were famous singers, and all were women he didn’t know personally, women he referred to as “hot”. He photoshopped his image into the photos of these women and added hearts and romantic songs and whatnot. Plus posted 1000 selfies of himself there.

    You were upset by his stories about that one woman and by his collection of blond “hot” women on his Facebook, and you tried to compete with those women by losing weight, from 85 kg (187 lb), to nearly 55 kg (121 lb), gaining muscle because of the physical nature of the job,  dressing attractively and even tried bleaching your natural brown hair so to appear blond. But his obsessions with the other woman/ Facebook images continued nonetheless, and he “would ignore me often”. You “felt un-special… every weekend I get very, very depressed”. You used to “get very lonely until the next working days”.

    Finally there was a second date, had a meal, went to his place, watched a film and then you went home. At work he didn’t talk to you much, then he completely ignored you for a week, you were confused, didn’t understand (“Am I a friend to this guy- 0r what? I don’t understand”).

    In June 2016, you shared more about your body dysphoria, how you worried about looking too thin: “Like in Easter, when the whole family came  over.. and last time I was very overweight.. this time I was slim.. yet nobody said a thing and its though they looked at me like I had a disease or something. That lead me to think of myself as looking sickly and too thin”.

    A year later, June 2017, about two years after you met Nick, you shared that he was fired from his job some time before, that he had no money other than a pension he gets, that he doesn’t have a job and he isn’t looking for any, that he still lives in his parents’ double garage, that he is a strong smoker, has breathing issues where “he holds his breath all the time among other things”, that he used to  smoke dope for many years. That for years he smoked ice, a methamphetamine, having spent $100 almost very week or fortnight on it when he used to work, and still uses it once a month. That he “has to go to the doctor every fortnight to get a jab of Risperdal which is a strong anti- psychotic”, that he has “no energy to do anything and lacks attention span too”, and that “Most of the time, he is in a daze and he is always smoking and pacing and in his own world”.

    And he thinks he has a future with you, talks about having kids with me, growing old together, wants you to spend every night with him even though he goes to bed early, that after a long day of work you rush to his place “only to get to his place and he would just be sitting on his computer looking at his millions of selfies or his Facebook page and basically ignore me the entire time”. You wrote that “he has changes so much for the better” because of you, that you are his world, and that he has no idea that you are thinking of breaking up with him. “how to I break up with someone who thinks that he has the rest of his life with me and that has nothing else in his life really but me?”, you asked 2.5 years ago.

    Two and a half years later, January 2020, you shared that back in 2016 you “became the independent confident person I got glimpse of in times I was well in the past”, that you felt “socially full” and that lasted three years, you shared how you felt “like striking gold that a guy like me”, the guy being Nick. But you have “had to endure an extreme amount of distress and dysfunction from him” and you’ve been “badly burnt”, “burnt out shell of a person”, that you have let him “basically take over my life through his own dysfunctions”, that now you understand that a person with schizophrenia is unable to “take control and plan… unable to make goals without a lot of help.. basically couldn’t manage their live like a normal person or that they couldn’t concentrate on things and have issues with hygiene and not understanding boundaries etc.”, that you are “obese and dealing with adrenal fatigue” and that your body in the last two years is “in a dire state of bed time and aches and pains and chronic fatigue and brain fog, breathlessness, and “it really is a huge struggle to keep up with daily things”.

    And now, my input today: it is a very difficult experience for a child to grow up in a home where social isolation is so extreme. Reads to me that your mother, because of her disability was unable to communicate effectively with you (or with your father, I am guessing). Finding his large collection of pornography in the context of that extreme social isolation was traumatic for you. I think it was shocking and your extreme discomfort regarding your body, its femininity and otherwise, started right there and then, if not before.

    Your experience of rape at 14 and even worse, having been raped and so severely mistreated at 24 for four months was horrendous.

    It is a testimony of your resilience and intelligence that you survived such a childhood and later experiences.

    The job at 34 was a wonderful experience for you, to be around people, to find out that you are a hard worker,  to work hard physically and develop muscles, those were great things.

    Your very low self esteem and social isolation at home and outside work otherwise, caused you to over- value Nicks’ attention toward you and you got hooked on it early on. Fast forward, this relationship exhausted you and you considered breaking up with him 2.5 years ago. Yet you kept at it and now you are even more exhausted and your health is suffering.

    Nick’s mental health is poor, not only does he suffer from schizophrenia, but he abuses methamphetamine. All that you shared about him indicates that he has not been making any significant progress toward better health, if he smoked heavily before, that didn’t change because he is still smoking heavily, and he used to work but he no longer does, he doesn’t consider a new job. This is  regression, not progression.

    Your physical and mental health is suffering greatly because of this relationship.

    Time to end this relationship, isn’t it?

    Ending this relationship will not be easy, but it needs to be done so that you can again progress toward physical and mental health.

    You still work at the same place, I understand?


    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.


    Ive had months of really putting it in me that yes this relationship is all about regression. And i didnt want to go to that truth because it made me feel as though ive wasted time.

    My therapist said i should think of the immense growth ive experienced that she has seen in me throughout 4 years or more within this relationship. She told me to write it down.

    The whole time from the start, my gut was screaming at me. Telling me this wasnt me, that it wasnt right. And i knew it wsnt, but my needs came before that. Even if i couldnt really get many of them. It was better to help someone and try to grow with that than to feel alone again.

    Id been socially phobic with social avoidance personality for over 10 years. Prob 15 years. And in that time was experiencing the ins and outs of loneliness and depression. I had such low self-esteem and lack of social identity that it was very hard to allow others to get to know me as well as even be in a social setting.

    When i started working and was pushed into it, my world did change. And when i met russell my world became very different. I felt alive and had someone to share things with. Things that i had missed out on.


    And yes it was with a person very mentally ill unlike my type of mental illness. His was pronounced from the first time i met him. I knew he had delusions and talked nonsense and was a bit like a child. I knew all that. And i felt i was too deep in at the start but it was the comfort of the person and the connection that made it stay. And the surge of self esteem even if it were fleeting.

    As u can see im in a bit of reflecting at the moment.

    As the world has changed, so to has my little world within it. Its like a blessing but also a tragedy for me personally. Not the pandemic but my own personal life.

    So Russell decided to make bad choices like always. His sister went into psychosis recently because him and her apparently had been smoking meth drugs every week using their pension money (they are schizophrenic). The mother they live with found out and after 3 or so weeks of the daughter in the hospital because of psychosis, and decided later that they needed a change and was going to move 400 km away in a new town within 3 months.

    Im not sure how they are able to do that at the moment but that was that. It did not take russell into consideration. He doesnt want to move. He loves me and even if we are just friends even. Its been a very close relationship even if on my end its been crazy for me. My therapist calls him my familiar. Ive shared things with him ive never shared with anyone. Even with his disability and ups and downs ive still been able to have some needs met and he knows me more than anyone. Its been 4-5 years of messaging and talking on the phone everyday and night and seeing each other everyday. Its extreme as that is how he just came to do, but i got used it.

    Now though, its very different.

    In the time of the pandemic and he decided to go binge on his drugs. Spend extra money that was from a gov stimulus i think and go on this 3 week binge. Ive always been completely unaware when he would do drugs. Id only know by when his payday or week and his moods.

    So what happened this week in the last few days he is in psychosis now himself. He rang me a few nights ago with pain in his side that it came to be in his liver and he got scared and i talked him thru how to help himself with a warm flannel and warm lemon water etc. Then he had been all over the place emotionally and not slept for 3 nights. I feel sorry for his mother living with both kids on drugs and in psychosis.

    Russell didn’t want to admit to himself he was wrong in doing all these things. But he has brain issues that prevent him from being able to plan or foresee outcomes in his mind. Its all impulse.

    So the limited amount of times now ive been able to talk to him or contact him because of him. He is at home but he cant go on social media anymore because of his delusions and psychosis. The other night he told me not to go on his youtube because it could lead to death. He thought or thinks he was possessed by the devil and things are either for love or against the world or something like that.

    Hes been very rude to me. Not directly, but for instance this morning i chose to take some photos of things ive been doing at home so that it might make him feel less far as he liked coming over here. But he wasnt really interested and he cant make desisions. He wanted to know if we might meet up and go for a walk. So i said yes as long as he was well enough to. But when i mentioned where he responds with he wasnt sure to meet up with me. And i said thats okay and maybe another day – but the directness of him saying goodluck and goodbye – those words and then nothing when we hadnt finished the conversation. Or when i told him what to do when he had liver pain – ‘i need to concentrate now’ and i didnt hear from him till the next day.

    This morning i was crying like mourning at a funeral or something. It doesnt help to have pms. But i did just let it out, all my emotions. Its just been very hard on me. His decisions have led to him being ill and his sister being ill and now even me being ill.

    I crave connection. I want to talk to him and tell him about my own things like normal and hear his stuff. But i cant even contact him anymore. All his social media – the one messenger account he talked to me in is gone. Any way of me contacting him is unavailable except for his home phone i never ring as i have a phobia of phones esp home phones.

    3 weeks ago after hearing the news his family was moving, he didnt digest it. and when i tried asking him about it he thought it no big deal and other things were more important to him. Then later he worked out it was something going to happen and so he told me he was going to stay here in this town and acutally be independent and live on his own. I was very anxious and couldnt believe him one bit because he would spend his pension money all of it without any savings every first week of the fortnight. By the second week he had 0 money. And thats because he would spend on drugs and money and pay back his sister the week before for drugs.

    And that had been going on for quite some time.

    And yet when i would ask him, if his mum would support him and set him up to live on his own. that sort of thing his answer was no he wasnt going to ask his mum for support. And when i asked him that he could live in a flat, his response that he was going to go get a 3 bedroom house with a view..

    And then he said that i was making him nervous and not to talk about it anymore because i asked too many questions. At one stage he was angry with me for not supporting him and going off living with him here in a house together.

    But as if i would do that? I had to write and tell him why. Telling him about his money issues and so on and my own mental health issues. I have genralised anxiety.

    He was still thinking up in the air about him making it in his own place here. Without any details or plans on how he would do that.

    I wasnt able to ask because it made him anxious. So i decided to just not go there. Tho when i first heard about it all i was in distress and had a huge anxiety attack. The whole day was emotionally painful for me.

    Now tho weeks later, hes come to realise his mental illness and care plan he needs his family for support of all that, since his psychosis. He rang me this morning after me 2 and half hours of intense depressive anxiety from his goodbye statement  in messenger. He told me that he meant his account as that messenger account was the devil or something.

    But he also told me that he cant stay here and that he loves me but he cant because of his schizophrenia and so on. And i told him that i had to mourn about that. And that it would be okay still that we could still talk and so on and visit, but he was really not well talking about that and i think hurt that i said that.

    When things dont go his way he crumbles. And i suspect even in his illness right now, hes avoiding me because its painful for him. But for me its even more painful because i dont have any online access to talk to him and even when i do it results in me not getting any friendship needs met, it ends in me crying and being distressed and then even further the waves of feeling like ive lost him in many respects and the spiral of thinking ill be alone. Its not like at the moment i can go out and meet people.

    I live with my parents in thier 70s and i have to be careful.

    Its been very hard not having him to talk to, even with his illness he was still my very close friend. Now that hes likely moving and now that he has pyschosis again (he hadnt really been this sick in 10 years), its left me feeling like i used to, very alone.









    Dear Karene:

    Welcome back. When you posted last, Jan 3 this year, there were wildfires going on in Australia, where you live. Little did we now that a wild virus was already spreading at the time, about to take over the world  two months later.

    Russel (we referred to him previously as Nick) has been a very important person in your life for years. He has been the only person with whom you felt closeness: “it’s been a very close relationship.. he knows me more than anyone”.

    We humans are very much Social animals, and Russel has been your Social, (or as your therapist referred to him, your Familiar). When we are isolated for a long time, we feel dead; when we socialize again, we feel alive: “I felt alive and had someone to share things with”.

    You know that Russel loves you (“He loves me”), and you know that he “has brain issues that prevent him from being able to plan or foresee outcomes in his mind”, that his bad choices are “all impulse”, and therefore, you  know that he cannot live independently. He is currently living in his mother’s home, relying on government money that he misuses for buying drugs that exacerbate his psychosis. And so, you understand his limitations and you don’t take his sickness and dysfunction personally.

    “I crave connection. I want to talk to him and tell him about my own things like normal and hear his stuff”- you need contact with him, otherwise you feel terribly alone. If he moves with his mother 400 km, you will see him rarely, if at all, even after the pandemic is over. But even though he still lives close by, you can’t see him/ communicate with him online,  because his psychosis is more pronounced, having been made worse by his meth drug use.

    In a moment of clarity, he told you, “that he can’t stay here and that he loves me but he can’t because of schizophrenia”- he can’t stay in your area if his mother will be moving 400 km away, he can’t rent or buy a place and live independently.

    One problem you currently have in regard to Russel is that he uses meth which exacerbates his psychosis and when that happens, the connection with him suffers a lot. A second problem is that he may be moving 400 km away.

    * Maybe his mother will not be moving- it takes a lot of time and effort to move, as well as money. Having two adult children who suffer from psychosis and who use meth, may not leave her enough energy to arrange for a move.

    If his mother moves away, the only way for you to keep Russel close by is if you make the practical arrangements for him to live close by,  rent him a place, and check on him every day, to see that he is okay.

    “Now that he’s likely moving and now that he has psychosis again.. it left me feeling like I used to, very alone”-

    – you are welcome to post here anytime, and when you do, I will respond to you. This is one online connection that is available to you. Best you can, enjoy interacting with the animals on your property. As you probably know, pets can provide a lot of comfort. Dogs in particular are affectionate and interactive. Regarding Russel, his meth use is out of your control, and his mother’s choices of where to live is also out of your control. If you can’t arrange for Russel to live close by the time his mother moves him away, then there is nothing for you to do, but wait and hope for the best.





    Thanku so much Anita.

    Im not doing so well again.

    So russell actually phoned me this morning, after a long few days wait and not knowing what was going on. Days ago he said he would ring me in the night and it never happened.

    Its unsual.

    Like i siad he has been pyschotic. And i know i cant be putting my needs on this ill person. But hes been my familair and now         its just eztremely hurtful to me.

    So he rang this morning and asked what i was doing today and if we wanted to catch up and go for a walk. I jumped at that because i thought id never see him again cause its been nothing from him.

    I really have needed him and know its not healthy but its something esp in this climate with all thats going on. Nothings ever balck and white.

    i thought he probably had a long sleep for days and maybe thats why he didnt contact me before esp being ill. And it seemed he was at least a bit okay now. So when he rang for a walk i felt like a flower opened up in me as the last few days had been so rough and painful and lonely, agonising what was going on and waiting and waiting.

    i decided last night since i couldnt contact him thu online and i was terrified of ringing him, that i needed to feel in control somehow, so i wrote and drew a card and just was compassionate and told him to ring me. And i felt better about that.

    Only he never got it and i think it ended in the neighbors letterbox instead, it was at night and i was so nervous going to that street and all the bins were out lol. But even tho this morning i was able to tell him about the letter/card i sent in his mailbox he told me it wasnt there and he wasnt in a rush to go find it in the other letterbox next door or ask about it. Even tho i felt it was something special i really wanted him to read.

    So i felt a little relief like hed gone back even a tiny bit to being on his way to healing and a walk in the sunshine might do him good.

    But as i was showering getting ready, he rang up to tell me he couldnt go for the walk and when i asked him why, he said he didnt know. And then basically hung up on me.

    I know i shouldnt take this personally, hes obv unwell but i cant help it. It really broke me down.

    How cant this person who alway promised me hed be there for me, never hurt me and that he loves me act like that? Its as if to say his psychosis is something that is stopping him from seeing me, some narrative in his mind.

    I have anxiety disorder and its hard for me to not break down.

    So i felt i needed to take control of the situation for myself. So i took that fear i had with ringing the home phone and rang his home phone.

    ‘Hello, Russell speaking/..

    me- hello its me- ‘

    I know u are not well right now but i wanted to say that i found it very hurtful to me –

    Russell –

    Ill talk to you later okay.

    hangs up-


    And that was it.


    It sounds not that bad when i write it, but it clearly was unwelcoming when i rang, the very fear i had came true ringing up.

    So completely in screwballs in my stomach over it.

    Its has really really hurt inside in my centre. Emotionally.

    Theres no explanation there is just blunt rejection out of no where and thats it.

    I almost feel like putting a face to that. like going over there and knocking on his door and saying hi and then driving away. Because in all the years ive known him, he can flip his emotions into acknowledgement.

    I feel like ive done something wrong. I really wanted him to read my card. but he even tho he is ill , has been very cruel to me. I cant imagine what he would be like if i were like that to him.

    I cant function. I know i make a big deal and the obvious is hes just not even able to be sane right now, but its as tho hes painted me as this person to disrespect. He chooses to ignore and not care even when he is not doing anything.

    Many years ago in my 20s (im in my late 30s) i was sexually and emotionally abused and after all that, coming home to quite white noise and despair of complete rejection afterwards. It feels just like that again.

    I mean all this has to be just when self isolation is going on. Its so horrible.

    When i was on the phone this morning, when i said i was worried about him, he said why dont i just ring up.


    And yet today i did and he rejected me. again.

    Its out of character to him.

    I think ill make another card. idk. I just need to express myself and feel like im being heard. I never did that back in the day in my youth.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Karene.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Karene.

    Dear Karene:

    You are very welcome. I am sorry you are feeling badly, and I hope you will feel better soon!

    A few days ago, Russel told you that he will ring you that night, but didn’t. You’ve been “agonising what was going on and waiting and waiting”. Yesterday he phoned you and suggested that the two of you go for a walk, and you “jumped at that.. felt like a flower opened up in me”. As you were getting ready to see him, he rang to tell you he couldn’t make it. You asked him why, and he said that he didn’t know, and hung up.

    Next, you rang him even though you are scared of ringing him. He answered the phone and after you told him that you “found it very hurtful”, he said: “I’ll talk to you later okay” and hung up. You are hurt and in pain, “He chooses to ignore and not care even when he is not doing anything”. You feel as badly as in 2007, when you flew to see a man you were smitten with, only to be sexually and emotionally abused by him.  For about 8 years following that experience, you avoided people other than your parents and close family, finding it “hard to go out in public and to be around people” -a pre-pandemic social- distancing, using the current term.

    You are thinking about preparing another card for Russel, even though he didn’t receive the previous one that you sent him recently, and didn’t care to look for that card in a neighbor’s letterbox, where it might have been placed by mistake.

    Let’s look at what it means to use and be addicted to meth: healthline. com reads: “Meth produces an intense high that comes and fades quickly. Coming down can cause difficult emotional and physical symptoms, such as depression and insomnia. As a result, meth addiction often follows a pattern of bingeing on the drug for several days at a time, followed by a crash.”

    Wikipedia reads: “Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is mainly used as a recreational drug.. At very high doses, it can induce psychosis.. Chronic high- dose use can precipitate unpredictable and rapid mood swings, stimulant psychosis (e.g., paranoia, hallucinations, delirium, and delusions) and violent behavior… Methamphetamine is known to possess a high addiction liability (i.e., a high likelihood that long-term or high dose use will lead to compulsive drug use) and high dependency liability (i.e., a high likelihood that withdrawal symptoms will occur when methamphetamine use ceases)”.

    axisresidentialtreatment. com reads: “When someone abuses crystal meth, it doesn’t take long for the drug to cause extreme and noticeable changes in them. From their appearance to their mental stability to the simplest of interactions with others, there is a marked change, and the entire personality of the user can flip 180 degrees… While experiencing the effects of crystal meth dose, you may notice a number of different things about your loved one. They may: have dilated pupils, be extremely personable and chatty, be unable to sit still, be extremely focused on some minute task or detail, pace and compulsively touch their arms, face, etc., talk to themselves. They may seem agitated and out of it or they may be eerily focused and managing multiple tasks at once with a smile and run-on conversation. Their behavior may change from binge to binge, but it is always a stark change from their normal self.

    When the drug wears off, your loved one’s true personality will not return for a few days. In the aftermath of a crystal meth binge, your family member may be: surly, exhausted, unable to sleep or eat, paranoid, restless, uncomfortable”.

    As I read and typed the above, it is crystal clear to me that.. a crystal meth addiction makes a positive, reliable friendship/ romantic relationship impossible.

    You wrote regarding his behavior: “I feel like I’ve done something wrong”- no, you haven’t. The drug he takes is very powerful, it’s the drug that does him (and you) wrong.

    You asked: “How can this person who always promised me he’d be there for me, never hurt me, and that he loves me, act like that?”

    My answer: he takes meth, probably crystal meth. If he took an anti-psychotic medication for his pre-meth psychosis and no meth, he would probably be okay in the context of a friendship/ romantic relationship. But he takes meth which makes his psychosis worse. He is very addicted and is not in any treatment program. As long as he is able to buy the drug, he will continue to use it.

    Do you agree?



    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by anita.

    Yes, I definitely agree. In fact i would tell him all the dangers of crystal meth. I hated that he actually resorted to doing that stuff as it was completely dangerous in so many ways. Especially to him. It was always a huge anger and frustration of mine to have to be passive-aggressive and try to be positive in the aspects of moving him to a much healthier life than drugs.

    He takes Risperdal which is an antipsychotic in the form of a needle every fortnight. Ive known him for 4 years intensely and knew his mental health patterns. Erratic, anxious, serious, monotone, gone and then clown. I kind of knew when he was most likely on his ice because he would be proactive and start cleaning the house he lives in and cooking his mothers tea and things like that.  I really had to dig hard and out of my own values in order to find compassion on his grounds. I had so many negative feelings towards his choices and namely id call it so dumb.

    But to him i had to work out why. And ive read quite a few books on schizophrenia and on ice/meth and why people take that stuff and how it affects them. One of the things that i found def applied to russell was that he felt like he was on an adventure, like he was doing something with people and it was exciting and people wanted to be around him. It mentions reasons like this why schizophrenic people can go towards the drug – the social component.

    Then there was being able to feel alive again.  Being on anti-psychotics leaves the person with negative side affects that make them hard to concentrate on anything and sleeping long hours and bluntly unable to really feel.

    When they take meth or ice , no matter how nasty that stuff is to the body and whatever its made out of, people like russell use it to feel again.

    So i could understand those things.

    But it makes me so angry that you knew it was going to happen. That he was going to be in psychosis again.

    With Russell, he did contact me this afternoon.

    His mum gave him the card i made.

    And when he was on the phone it brought everything out of my own mess of woes and right into compassion for him.

    It was terrifying to hear him quietly on the phone and breathing rapidly because he was so terrified. He even said he was.

    So he is and has been deep in psychosis for days now and yet he is still home and his mum is looking after him.

    I think its tricky for him to be able to go into hospital. But i dont ask. I dont really talk to his mum as i get so shy.

    Russell sounded like a scared little boy. He really needed comfort and i tried my best. I talked like he was a little boy and i was his mother, it was scary. I was open and nonjudging. Just really trying to help him but i still really didnt know what to say. He said he doesnt having any basketball trophies anymore, that he broke them all so i told him they can be repaired with glue.

    He just was really really unwell and terrified. I was so taken aback and felt useless.

    I just asked him if he was okay and what was he scared of. Obv being in psychosis its hard for anyone to believe him and so on.

    After that scarey phone call during which he said he wanted to die. That really made me scared for him. I think he really needs to be in hospital and im not sure what his mum is doing.

    I drove done to the loval sho to get a hydrating coconut water and some gum for him and then actually drove to his house and knock on his door but there was no answer. My heart was beating so fast as my social phobia and anxiety and adrenalin.

    I mean a pyschotic person, you never know. But there was no answer so i left the bag of things on the doorstep and then when i got home rang his phone where his mother answered and i told her there was the bag there.




    So after all that, its not that he is directly not wanting to know me. Its that he is going through this terrifying and grueling time in his life once again where reality has been warped and he doesnt know what is real and not.

    I feel so much empathy for him its very upsetting. Now i cant really stay calm. I fear for him during this time. I dont want him to hurt himself.

    His mother should be doing more. I dont know.

    The other night when i was actually in contact with him – about 6 days ago  he had such a pain in his liver and i helped him out with that, and he said that he was never going to take ice ever again and he meant it. He was scared for his health. And then pyschosis set in.

    I know that 10 years ago he vowed he wouldn’t ever take marijuana again after smoking that daily apparently. He was shift working long hours back then and hardly eating. He had social stress and then ended up in psychosis.

    If he even tried to have marijuana again he would throw up – it made him ill. And that was a daily drug he took for prob 10 years. up to that point.

    I suspect that will happen with the ice meth stuff too. I think hes been absolutely terrified. Likely to not touch that stuff but have to have some sort of replacement – sugar maybe who knows.

    Just right now i am so scared that he might hurt himself. And i cant really do anything.

    Im really in the dark about all this and his mother likes her privacy, she lives with her 2 adult children who both have schizophrenia.

    I just dont know what to do to feel not anxious for him and whats going on. I want to be able to say everything will be fine, he will sleep on it and then gradually get better.

    Thats what i hope for. But what can i do?

    My gut has had a work out, its such anguish.


    Dear Karene:

    I am not surprised that you read a lot about psychosis and crystal meth, and your understanding makes sense to me. Taking it all together, I figure that the only way Russel will not stop using meth is if he has no money to buy it, or no access to people who sell it.

    His mother is not well herself and most likely, at the least, she significantly contributed to her two adult children very poor mental health. I don’t see a reason to hope that she will do what’s right for any of them in the future, no more than she has done in the past. What’s right for them, particularly for Russel, seems to me, is to get him to a hospital, and keep him there regardless of him agreeing to it or not (an involuntary hospitalization), detox him from crystal math and any other drug he may be on, other than the Risperdal, and then figure out a better living arrangement for him, an institution of some kind.

    I wonder if Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) in Australia can help you regarding Russel. You can contact people on that website and ask perhaps if involuntary hospitalization is possible for Russel, and if there is anything you can do, as his friend, to make it happen. Their website is: www. crystalmeth. org. au (no spaces).

    There is an article online written by The Cabin Sydney, which is a specialist addiction treatment centre dealing with substance addictions, it has outpatients services in Sydney. Their website is, no spaces: www. thecabinsydney.  com. au/ blog/ australias- deadly- addiction- to- meth. In an article they published, Sept 1, 2015, they warned about a pandemic of a different kind from the current Covid-19 that we are experiencing world wide:

    “Across Australia, officials are talking about soaring rates of meth addiction, warning that levels of meth use have reached pandemic proportions.. Ice is extremely addictive.. 7% of all Australians have tried ice at some point in their lives. This is compared to only 1.2% ever trying heroin.. ice addiction and its use is particularly dangerous as it is associated with drug induced psychosis, violence, and erratic behavior.. there are more purer forms of the drug reaching the streets.

    In Victoria, the number of meth related ambulance calls has doubled in recent years, and ice is now the second leading cause of drug overdose, after heroin. Officials say it has surpassed heroin as Australia’s most dangerous illicit drug… The ice epidemic is distressing for communities and straining systems at all levels… According to Australian officials, the response to the ice epidemic will take collaboration from all areas of society. Government, law enforcement, social services, educators, and parents will have to work together in order to make a difference..

    Some drug rehab centres have retrained employees to handle meth users specifically, as they can be more difficult to deal with than other types of drug addicts… There is currently a major shortage of treatment options in Australia, and many suffering from meth addiction are waiting months to receive treatment in overcrowded, ill-equipped treatment centres. .. At the Cabin Sydney we offer a comprehensive, integrative approach to addiction recovery. Contact us today if you or someone you love is in need of meth addiction treatment”.

    -you can see how little power you have (as one individual/ friend of an addict) over this epidemic in general, and specifically, now little power you have over Russel’s addiction. It takes a whole lot of people, lots of resources, and lots of time and patience to lead one ice addict to no longer use the drug.

    All you can do is what you did recently, talk to him as if he is a child, talk kindly to him, send him a card.. and perhaps contact the two websites I mentioned for further information.





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