“Learn to be content in mediocrity”

The physician monitoring program for the entire state of Indiana is run by just one single person – Candace baker. She alone makes every decision and there is absolutely no appeals process. It’s been this way for 30 years. You are completely at her mercy- and she is merciless.
As talked about in “my story” she only gave me a list of three centers that I could go to for my initial evaluation, in either Atlanta, Mississippi, or Chicago. She stated they had “the best results for doctors” and were “doctors only” programs. I didn’t know any better, so I went to the closest one in Chicago hoping for the best. It was called the positive sobriety institute and compromised about a half of one floor of a 23 story high rise business building right by navy pier. My initial evaluation was two days of interviews by social workers, psychiatrists, and therapists, many many different questionnaires, personality tests, a physical exam, drug testing in every way including hair, fingernails, blood, and urine, and even “cognitive testing” testing my reflexes and ability to solve puzzles. It’s was $4,500 out of pocket which I had to pay up front. No choice. They were all that expensive or more. I was never allowed to see any of my results or evaluations. I wasn’t even allowed to interact with the current prisoners even though they were in the rooms next door and I could see them all in passing through the windows. I was completely segregated.
I told them everything- and honestly WAY more than I should have, because anything you tell them they will only use against you. I told them how I had been in an abusive relationship with a drug addict who I spent the better part of a year trying to help. He hid his addiction from me for about 6 months until I saw a text on his phone about his “weekly order” of $300 of cocaine. Obviously concerned, I confronted him about it. I honestly had no idea before that. Needless to say, It didn’t go well. I was angry that he had been doing that behind my back and lying to me about it for months, and that his “bipolar disorder” I had been bending over backwards trying to help with was actually probably related to drugs. He broke my clavicle that night and stormed off in a fit. Genuinely concerned about not only his safety but the safety for the next person he interacted with, I messaged his ex girlfriend from my friend’s Facebook to tell her not to let him in if he went over there because he was on drugs and violent (he didn’t have any other friends and knowing him that’s probably where he went)- she then accused me of “harassing her” and went to the police station and told them I was doing drugs. I wasn’t so obviously nothing came of that, but that’s what I get for trying to help. Well I spent the next few months trying to help him get OFF drugs. I was curious and tried it twice – very small amounts. I didn’t like it- it made me anxious and overheated. Why did I try it? I don’t know, curiosity? You’ve never done something stupid in your life? Honestly I never should have told them about any of that, I only did because they told me that if I got caught in a lie that it would be worse for me because they wouldn’t trust me anyone, but they didn’t believe anything I said regardless. That tiny amount of cocaine didn’t show up on any of my tests (including fingernail, hair, urine and blood) so they never would’ve known if I didn’t tell them- and then they had the balls to put “mild cocaine addiction” as one of my diagnoses even though trying something twice doesn’t come ANYWHERE near a diagnosis of “addiction”. There are actual criteria for that- and when I called them out and asked them to explain how I in anyway met those criteria they told me “we just know” and straight up lied to me, telling me I had cocaine in my fingernail and hair tests so I wouldn’t argue. Apparently legally these places don’t have to show you your tests results- so I didn’t find out for almost a year that the lied to me. They told me over and over that “addicts lie” and always assumed I wasn’t telling them the truth. Honestly I can’t imagine how it would’ve been any worse for me if I was caught in a lie anyways, and anything I told them they only used against me. My abusive ex only “predisposed me” to becoming an addict according to them. It honestly didn’t matter what I said, they saw a young scared little girl and thought “jackpot”. They literally said I had a “severe stimulant addiction” because I took a once daily Adderall as prescribed for 15 years. My THC level in my fingernails was in the very low range- but they labeled me with a “moderate addiction” to that too. Also alcohol, which I only ever used on the weekends and not in excess. But they never let me see my test results so I had no way of knowing and no way to fight it. When I disagreed they told me I was “in denial” and when my friends and family disagreed they were “enabling me”. It honestly didn’t matter what any of us said.

Rehab was a joke. Half the day was just arts and crafts, meditation, and shitty yoga, which I was paying $1000 a day for. There was probably only 1-2 hours a day of actual “class” which was either talking about controlling your emotions or behavior. I felt like I was in kindergarten. There was no actual one on one therapy, only group therapy, which was usually dominated by the same few people incessantly talking. Trying to see your psychiatrist was a nightmare because there was always a very long wait and they were only there for a few hours a day- usually when you were supposed to be in class, and they did not like it when you weren’t in class. It not like you had much of a choice in your many many medications they threw at you either. They used scare tactics for everything – if you didn’t take your meds or missed class or disagreed with them in any way they would just threaten to keep you there longer and report you to the monitoring program for being “non compliant”. You were basically their slave. It was dehumanizing. They would tell you every day that you had “no willpower” even though I knew I did, but when I told them that they just said I was in denial and would be kept there longer until I “came to terms with my diagnosis”. My fellowship already told me that if I was delayed any longer that they were going to drop me, and I had spent the last 5 years of my blood sweat and tears working my ass off to get it. It was also a multiple year application cycle not to mention the fact that who would take me after all this? It was the single most competitive specialty in all of medicine that year. (And only 8% women). I was 100% completely at their mercy (or lack thereof). The only way I was getting out of there is if I played along and pretended like they were helping me. It was humiliating and compromised everything I believed in. I had to either give up my entire career or debase myself and play along. It was horrible. I hated them. I will always hate them for what they did to me. I had to look them in the eyes and pretended like I agreed with them or I would lose everything.

I won’t say I got absolutely nothing out of it, it was a nice vacation I guess and it did get me away from my crazy manipulative ex for the time being. They actually changed all my homework assignments from being about substance abuse to being about my ex, because honestly he was my addiction. I kept giving him second, third, twentieth chances even though I knew deep down where it would lead and the chaos he caused. I wanted to help him and I have the worst time saying no to people asking for help. I guess helping others makes me feel useful and gives me a sense of purpose, but I’m constantly taken advantage of because of it. I spent my entire time in rehab trying to make sure my friends didn’t do drugs or drink. I was a babysitter. My problem is and has always been that I care too much.

One thing rehab did do for me is scare me away from ever actually becoming an addict myself. I heard everyone’s stories and learned about warning signs and saw what lead them all to becoming addicts, and how devastating it was in their lives. I never wanted to end up like them. Everyone had some kind of inciting event that lead them there- and some of their stories were so incredibly sad. One of my best friends there was in politics and was raped by a guy very high up, who took pictures of her drugged and naked and used them as blackmail so she wouldn’t speak up. She either had to keep working with him or give up everything she had worked so hard to get. She turned to alcohol to calm her nerves. Others were molested by family members, beaten unconscious by police for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, had medical conditions which caused debilitating pain, and the list goes on. I honestly couldn’t blame any of them. There were a few others like me who just got screwed by the system- like my other suite mate who changed the date on her Adderall prescription to get it two days earlier when she was studying for boards and got charged with a felony (it later got dropped) but got reported because of it. She was definitely not an addict either. One DUI could end you there too- one stupid mistake. One bad decision that changes the way everyone looks at you forever. Who here hasn’t done something they weren’t supposed to? Does that make you an addict? Of course not. But even a rumor like that, especially for a doctor, will follow you to your grave. Now imagine having to explain the fact that you went to rehab too – everyone always assumes the worst and assumes you’re lying. My fellowship director actually said to me months into my fellowship “I always assumed the anonymous letter story was a lie”, and he’s not the only one to say that to me by far.

One of my biggest issues with that rehab, and I guess with all rehabs (as well as the physican monitoring programs) is the whole idea of complete abstinence. It doesn’t work the same way a crash diet doesn’t work- it’s not sustainable. According to these programs you’re not allowed to touch anything possibly “mind altering” because you might do too much of it and go off the rales. You might take too many nasal decongestants or Benadryl pills and get too hyped up or sleepy. You have allergies that are so bad that your nose continuously runs for days even after taking allerga and Flonase? Too bad, you can’t be trusted to take over the counter allergy pills anymore. I had seasonal allergies that were so bad this year that I had to shove tissues is my nose while scrubbed in performing surgery, and it still ran through them and almost into the sterile surgical field. That’s a major heath hazard. I told the program that and they basically said tough shit. My allergies actually got so bad this year that I developed bilateral tonsillar abscesses from the constant drainage and almost had to get emergency surgery. My ENT asked me why they were so much worse this year, and it was 100% because every other year I took nasal decongestants when I needed them. Did I ever abuse them? Of course not. I honestly don’t even understand how someone does. I’m no longer allowed basic health care and my health and safety doesn’t matter anymore- because we’re no longer treated as individual people anymore. Everyone gets exactly the same sentence whether you were a heroin or meth addict or just got caught in a fucked up system. And they don’t care about you. They just have to cover their ass.

Rehab always talked about cross addictions, saying that people often trade one addiction for another. This is of course absolutely true, but because of that possibility the rehab stated that we couldn’t do anything that was possibly addicting, ANYTHING. I would work out for an hour every evening, just like I always did, and they accused me of becoming addicted to that. Can’t go shopping because you might become a shopping addict. Sex? Of course not. They said “no relationships for at least a year”. Basically you’re not allowed to do anything that makes you happy because you can’t be trusted to do anything. When I questioned them about this, saying that they were taking all the joy out of my life, they literally told me that I “needed to learn to be content in mediocrity.” I will never forget that. They basically told me that I was no longer allowed to be happy.

These systems are designed for failure. They keep you in this small little bubble away from everything you enjoy and don’t prepare you for the real world. It’s great for actual addicts because it gives their body time to readjust, but once they’re out they always end up going right back to drugs/alcohol, and go all in, because they can’t control themselves. The system is designed for repeat customers. You become way more obsessed with drugs and alcohol because you’re not allowed to do it. Like college kids that were never allowed to drink before college always end up being the ones that overdo it the most. My parents let me drink a little here and there, but always under their supervision, so I knew how to be responsible with it. I learned to control myself, and I would say I have some of the best self-control of anyone I know. Rehab said that drinking at a young age “predisposed me to becoming an addict” but I would argue the exact opposite. Sure I over-did it a few times, but who hasn’t? And I always learned from it.

One thing I found super ironic is that rehab was completely ok with smoking cigarettes. EVERYONE there smoked. It was a social event. I went into rehab with no addictions and left with one- vaping. Yes, I’m that person they talk about that never actually smoked a cigarette but started with flavored vapes. It was a way to feel something, and one of the very few things they actually allowed. I would love someone to explain to me why nasal decongestants aren’t allowed but cigarettes are. And what about caffeine? Isn’t that mind altering? Sugar? Where is this imaginary line they’ve drawn in the sand that we’re supposed to just “know” even though they refuse to give us a list of banned substances and punish us when we don’t just “know”.

The problem is that they take everything away and just expect you to deal. I gotten to know a lot of addicts now, and REALLY gotten to know them. Not just an hour therapy session here or there in which we can’t really be honest because we’re too scared that they’ll report us for being an unsafe doctor, and they control our entire career and life. I can’t even go on vacation without a therapists approval, and my old therapist refused to sign my vacation approval to go to a music festival because it was “an unsafe environment” although I’ve told her over and over they are therapeutic for me and going to concerts is good for me because it’s something to actually do besides sit around and watch other people drink. I hated my old therapist. She actually dropped me as a patient because I “refused to admit I had a substance abuse problem” and said she couldn’t help me otherwise. I literally am forced to go to a “substance abuse” therapist, one off their list, so it’s not like this is a choice. Luckily I found a new one who is awesome and signed my form. (Also I had already been to 3 multiple day long camping music festivals under contract and was just fine). So I can’t really be honest with them when they control my life like this. Well I have really gotten to know a lot of addicts now on a very personal level in a way they never did. Addicts don’t just “become addicts”. Yes there are genetic predispositions and environmental factors at play, but addicts turn to drugs and alcohol for a reason. No one wants to become an addict. People turn to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanism out of desperation because they don’t know what else to do. I remember once when I was like 16 I was super anxious about something and my dad poured me a shot and told me it would help. Every time someone is having a bad day at work people will say to go home and have a drink. It’s ingrained in our culture to self sooth with substances and we offer very little alternatives. You go to a psychiatrist for anxiety or depression and they throw pills at you. They teach you that putting substances in your body will fix you, because that’s pretty much all they can do in a one hour office visit. No one actually takes the time to get to the real root of the problem. Even worse, they now treat addiction as a “disease” and basically say it’s not your fault, it’s part of your body chemistry. I appreciate the fact that treating it like a disease forces insurance companies to pay for treatment (as they should), but it takes all the personal accountability out of it. You get labeled with this “disease” by someone who barely knows you and it follows you forever, because there is no way to actually prove you’re NOT an addict (despite my very best efforts to do so). Of course there are some genetics and body chemistry at play that makes some people more prone to addiction, but it is my honest belief that every single person is capable of overcoming addiction if treated in appropriate, individualized ways, but it’s obviously not easy and they can’t do it alone. The major problem here is lack of resources to do so.

Just telling people to avoid all “mind altering substances” is a lazy and ineffective approach. A better approach would be to first discover the root of the problem and work on overcoming that, and second to redirect to healthier coping mechanisms. Everyone has a vice. Drugs, alcohol, caffeine, exercise, working too much, eating too much, social media, video games; we all have something that gets us through the day and makes our life worth living. They key is everything in moderation. Almost anything can become an addiction if you can’t control your behavior, and being able to control yourself is key- but obviously easier said than done.

Now why can’t people control themselves? Now that is a complicated question, but the most important one of them all. My roommate in rehab had been a social drinker until she was raped, then she was no longer able to control her drinking. She turned to drinking to calm her nerves because it was a quick and easy solution. It was only a temporary bandaid, and a dirty one at that which only infected the wound. Instead of really dealing with the issue she only tried to burry it deep down, but still having to see him and work with him kept it bubbling back up. The problem with alcohol and most other substances is tolerance and withdrawal- the more you do it the more your body becomes physically dependent on it and the more of it you need. It’s also a learned behavior, and even if you’re not at the point of physical dependence it may be socially ingrained. When I first started socializing after rehab it was very difficult for me to go out sober when everyone else wasn’t. Even though I never actually had an addiction it was still hard for me because being the only sober one made me feel like a social outcast. People would offer me drinks or ask why I wasn’t drinking and I never knew what to say. I would make up some excuse but in the back of my head I was always thinking that they would would assume the worst: that I was an alcoholic, pregnant, or just not very much fun. I also didn’t know how to act at parties sober. Think about all the social events you’ve been to in the last few years- has even a single one of them been a completely sober event? That just doesn’t happen in this day and age anymore unless you’re in AA. It’s a learned behavior that is very hard to shake. I eventually got over that, but it took time. A lot of time. I had the contract weighing over me preventing me from drinking, but most other people don’t have that kind of regulation or repercussion. If you told someone that if they had a drink of alcohol you would cut off their right arm, that would probably stop most people. It’s a balance of risks vs benefits. The problem lies in people’s warped views of the risks vs benefits, as well as of course physical dependence that needs to be dealt with first. People idealize substances as a magical fix to their problems, or just out of lack of alternatives. If they had a better way to magically fix all their problems that had less consequences of course they would do that, but they don’t, or at least they don’t know it yet.

In the mist of addiction you become very short sided. You just want to feel better right now. After rehab I went to my fellowship, and it was beyond horrible. I already stated a month and a half late and everyone knew why. Everyone treated me like a drug addict. If I was late or my hair wasn’t brushed or I was too tired, everyone always assumed it was because of drugs. I was behind, overworked, and constantly exhausted. Working 80-100 hours a week in addition to the 4x week substance abuse meetings, 1-2x week drug testing at urgent cares with over an hour wait, weekly therapy, and other meetings that totaled about 15 hours a week not including driving time, as well as weekly homework assignments and trying to find time to study, it was unbearable. I was routinely sleeping 2-4 hours a night for multiple days on end and trying to find time to even go grocery shopping or clean my house was impossible. I had to work twice as hard as everyone else to catch up and “prove myself”. I was pushed to my limit and beyond. I told the physician monitoring program coordinator all of this and her only response was – “then quit”. After everything I had gone through to keep this fellowship I was supposed to just quit now? I told her I wasn’t doing well and that suicide had been crossing my mind and she said “well then I guess you’re not fit to be a doctor”. I’m dead serious. My therapist told me I needed to find time to do things I enjoyed- like that was even a remote possibility. I told my fellowship director that I was so deliriously tired that I felt unsafe to care for patients who told me “this is what you signed up for”. Direct quote. No one was on my side, and no one cared. It was the worst time of my life and I barely made it out alive.

That’s when I fell back into my only real addiction out of pure desperation- my abusive ex. After getting fired from two high level engineering jobs in a row because of drugs he was driving for Uber as he was basically black listed from the field. He came and stayed with me because you can drive for Uber anywhere. I knew how horrible he was for me, but I needed help and didn’t see any other options. It did help, temporarily. He made me feel a little better and helped out around the house. He was a tiny spark of joy in a very dark time. I knew that it was only a matter of time before things went bad but I didn’t see any other options. I hid him from everyone. I was desperate and barely hanging on. If I had any other options I would’ve taken them. You do what you need to just to survive, risks vs benefits. If any one of the people I had turned to had offered me even just a little help- reduced hours at work, lessened my meeting requirements, found me somewhere more convenient for drug testing, I probably wouldn’t have turned to him. But no one cared. This was my punishment.

It helped until it didn’t and just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse they did. One particular weekend I was on call from Friday-Monday and got called in every single night. I was already on a major sleep debt and not sleeping more than an hour a night three days in a row pushed me over the edge. My computer stopped working and I didn’t have the time or money to go get a new one. Apparently someone complained to my fellowship director that I wasn’t performing up to par (and always assumed drugs- even though anyone would argue that lack of sleep is more physically incapacitating) who called me and screamed at me, telling me that they were on the verge of letting me go. My mind was in a total fog. I was teetering on the edge of losing everything, after all the hell I had gone through. That was my breaking point. I succumbed and took an Adderall to stay awake. The same medication I had been on for 15 years that they just took away without a second thought during the hardest time of my life. I just prayed to god it wouldn’t show up on a drug test. (When I repeatedly argued with Candace Baker, the sole person in charge of the entire Indiana physician monitoring program, telling her that I legitimately needed my medication she actually told me- “I’ve only given permission for one person to be on Adderall in 30 years”- direct quote)

Apparently shortly after that my fellowship director called Candace Baker aka the devil incarnate and complained about my “performance” saying that he was worried I was doing drugs, so then she demanded a hair test. I totally freaked. I realize now that the chances of a single Adderall showing up on a hair test a week later are incredibly small, but I completely panicked. I tried to think of any possible way to get around this, including actually seriously considering stabbing myself in the stomach (or “falling on a knife”) to get me admitted to the hospital. I honestly didn’t care if it killed me at that point. The ex told me to find a friend in AA who looked like me and offer her $1000 to pretend to be me and take the hair test for me. Once I took a second to actually think about that I knew that it was a terrible, terrible idea for many reasons including the fact that if I got caught I would likely never be a doctor again. I went into the shower and the ex took my phone and texted my friend Riley, asking her to take the test for me. Well, he didn’t realize that there were actually two Riley’s in my phone, that girl who had both a first and last name in my contacts, and “Riley” which was actually the Riley children’s hospital on call pager for the nurses, who all got that text. I actually didn’t even realize he had done that until I got to work and was immediately told to grab all my stuff and go to administration.

I was fired on the spot. The only time in my entire life that I had ever been fired from anything. I tried to explain that my ex sent that text and that I would go take the test right now, but they were done with me. It was the confirmation they were waiting for confirming all their suspicions. It was the excuse they needed. I bawled my eyes out in that meeting. It was all for nothing. They told me that I needed to “go get help” (for drugs). I told them I didn’t know what to do with my life now and my fellowship director said “maybe go work in a research lab” which basically meant not be a doctor anymore. My entire life was leading up to this and I couldn’t do it, 100% directly because of these monitoring programs. My fellowship told Candace who then reported me to the medical board and terminated my contract on the spot.

That’s the day I came very, very close to killing myself. I sat there with a knife to my wrist for 45 minutes. The only reason I didn’t is because my brother showed up. My parents called him and he left work to come check on me, and thank god he did. The next few weeks are basically a blur. I really hate to say it but probably the only reason I survived is because of my ex. He basically babysat me while I laid in bed for weeks. All I wanted to do was get black out drunk and forget I existed, but he stopped me. He started calling lawyers, trying to find me a way out of this. The lawyers told him since I never actually took the hair test or had any positive test at all that the best thing I could do is go take a hair test right then, and I did, and it was completely negative. The lawyers said since I still had a valid medical license in Michigan I could still work there since apparently just being reported to the Indiana medical board doesn’t automatically mean any action will come of it because I still had a chance to tell my side of the story informally before they would decide if it required a formal hearing or would be dismissed. It was dismissed, without any hearing at all. Just a letter of explanation and the drug test results. So I moved back to Michigan.

Ironically one of the first things Michigan did was give me back my Adderall, and at an even higher dose. I had to do a full day of testing first to prove I had adhd – results were “severe adhd”. Honestly looking back on it, getting fired from that fellowship was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I never would’ve survived it, and the end result could’ve been a lot worse. I could’ve died or killed someone. I contacted a hospital affiliated with my residency that I had previously moonlighted at so they knew me and knew how good I was, and did some coverage shifts for them for cash as I was beyond broke. Before that job I was so broke that I legitimately considered becoming a stripper for cash. I didn’t have money for lawyers and there was probably 2-3 months in between where I couldn’t work while I was getting evaluated all over again and approved to work. Luckily my grandpa gave me a loan. The hospital couldn’t hire me full time because my residency director said he “didn’t want me affiliated with the hospital system” even though they said they wanted to. I sincerely appreciate their help though, because not only did it give me a job and help build back up my confidence for a few months, but they wrote me letters of recommendation and spoke in my behalf when I was applying for jobs. Turns out I actually got my current job where I’ve been for almost 2 years because one of the guys there who was a year above me in residency is best friends with my boss’s son, and spoke very highly of me. I am so thankful for all the people that stood by me then, as it’s probably the only reason I am where I am today. No one would’ve given me a chance after all that otherwise. Turns out I didn’t actually need to complete the fellowship after all. I studied on my own and passed boards and am doing most of the same things I was learning how to do in fellowship anyways. And now I run my own department.

I fought tooth and nail to get here, but the whole ordeal has left deep, lasting scars. Luckily I am strong as fuck, because most people wouldn’t have made it through all that. So many times I wanted to reach for a drink or anything just to make me feel a little better. They took away every coping mechanism I had and left me with nothing but crippling anxiety which I had to just suffer through. I never had any problems at work before this and was a star resident on a great career path. They dragged me through the dirt and back, and why? Because I ate edibles on the weekends to help me deal with stress in a healthy way? I NEVER came to work inebriated in any way and it never effected my job. Taking away my medications, causing me untold anxiety and suffering, and destroying my reputation has done FAR more damage then occasionally eating edibles in my free time ever did.

Everyone needs something to help with stress. Stress is a killer, especially in my profession. No wonder why the suicide rates are so high. If you ask for help, their “help” only makes it so, so much worse. This process basically prevents doctors actually struggling with addiction or mental health problems from ever getting the help they need until it’s too late, and it only makes it so much worse.

I clung to my abusive ex for emotional support out of desperation. I was finally able to permanently cut ties with him only after I got my life back together, and I’ve never looked back. I fixed my life and I didn’t need him anymore. I was able to finally be happy with myself again and found strength in myself. But that took a lot of work. And it still does. I get panic attacks that are so bad I wish I could just knock myself unconscious. My anxiety and panic attacks puts major strain on and have almost ruined many of my relationships and friendships. I’ve tried all the breathing techniques and strategies but most of the time all I really need is for someone to just tell me everything is ok and try to help. I just want to feel cared for, I want to feel taken care of. I spend my whole life taking care of other people, I just want someone to be nice to me and take the reigns for a second until I calm down. Everything I’ve been through has only amplified that need. I have major PTSD from everything, and now I have this constant feeling like people are always against me now. Therapy definitely helps, but it would help a lot more if I could just call her every time I need her and if she wasn’t tied to my career. The problem is when they take away all “mind altering” substances but don’t give us any other coping strategies. I can’t just step away and meditate every time I have a crisis, and this program has caused so many problems in my life that my anxiety and stress are worse than ever.

Treatment plans should be individualized. Sure, a lot of drug addicts can’t be trusted to smoke weed only on the weekends and not have it interfere with work. Same with alcohol. But not everyone. Sometimes being able to smoke a joint when someone gets home can actually improve their stress level significantly and help them calm down to face the next day. Some people can really benefit from a low dose Xanax every now and then. The FDA has even started clinical trials with observed mushroom trips once a month which has shown very promising results. People have been using substances since the beginning of time. Jesus drank wine, people chewed coco-leaves, and tobacco leaves were a major crop for the early settlers. You just need to figure out the right things for the right people – and that takes time and takes actually getting to know the person, not just shoving them in arts and crafts and yoga classes all day. I probably spent maybe 3-4 hours total in 6 weeks of rehab with my psychiatrist. Michigan said adderall was ok for me, which I sincerely appreciate, but Indiana refused to even discuss it. I’m pretty sure my new therapist (who I’ve been seeing for a year) and my psychiatrist have never had more than a 10 minute discussion about me ever. They just want me to follow the rules, bow my head, and get through it. And wait for it to happen to someone else who may not be as strong as me.

Plenty of people have tried to speak out about this, but are completely ignored because they’re “in denial” and when someone hears “substance abuse” everyone automatically thinks “liar”. Everything I’ve told you is 100% true, exactly how it happened, the good and the bad. I would provide proof if I wasn’t too worried about protecting my reputation for people that don’t already know this is me. I’m not saying I did nothing wrong or that I couldn’t use help, but not this kind of help. Their “help” has only caused untold chaos and destruction in my life. The only thing I can think of to do is just keep telling my story, following through with the complaint to the attorney general (which is actively being investigated) and working on a lawsuit. And keep fighting. Maybe my story will help someone else one day.

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