Shame and Recovery: Robert’s Story

The self-help path towards better health and a better state of mind – Robert tells us how he’s getting there.


THIS IS A STORY of my personal journey through addiction and mental health issues.
For years I have never really gotten much sleep. When I’m awake I can hear the clock ticking. Every second seems to go by so slowly. I want coffee…kind of, but not really. I’m chilly and my nose is a bit runny. I live in this constant cycle of lack of sleep, keeping me at a distance from reality. But, this is my reality.

I live with an illness and not one that can be cured. Some call it addiction. Some call it a mixture of disorders. I just see it as shame. I’m madly ADD. My mind is never really at rest and I jump around from topic to topic (I had a lot of help putting this article together!). I drive myself mad with attempts to make others happy, and when I fail, shame sets in. Shame is a basic human emotion.

No matter who we are, or how we react to situations, at some point, we all need help. And, for many of us, at least for me, I never found the help I was looking for because I was looking in the wrong place. These self help programs are set for you to follow a guideline of rules weather it be “stay sober” or “not be promiscuous”, “keep yourself from sitting at a computer screen and playing poker with people you can’t even see”, or something like that.

Once I went to my doctor frantic and manic, saying “Please help me!” I finally figured out the solution was just going to be more pills and more classes. I began to think, “What does this doctor know about me? Well, not much of anything…just what I tell him and he writes something down and gives me a prescription.” You know the routine. I was alone with no friends. No one would even respond back to my text messages unless it was a drug dealer or woman I would get intoxicated with. I was angry and resentful. I blamed God and everyone / everything I could use as an excuse. The thought of self help programs came to mind. So, I called and no one responded unless I would give them my insurance card number. Or, they told me I was full of crap and didn’t want help, that I was not willing to change or wanting to. Negativity was not what I came for. I came for help. But, the thought came into my mind, tears running down my face, ‘Why am I calling programs for self help?” ….SELF HELP! …. It was then and there I decided to change my way of thinking. “Self Help” meant helping yourself!

My “self help” lifestyle meant I needed a middle ground. Due to my mental illness, it would not work to be completely sober and off everything. I began a regimen given to me by my psych doctor. I was taking cannabis wax only at this point because it was the cheapest source of THC for me and I was unable to afford flowers and CBD until I grew my own. With the kind help of some of the people in the Facebook group The Probiotic Farmers Alliance I was able to get my hands on some seeds and I started to grow some of my own cannabis.

I enjoy cannabis. I enjoy everything about it, other than the aspects of the law and the things greedy people do surrounding it. As a plant it truly is a wonderful medication. Even something as terrible as a detox from bezodiazepines can be soothed by high levels of THC and CBD. Pain and PTSD had been proven to be helped with cannabis as well as probiotics and an idea came to me, “PTSD is a form of mental illness. So what about cannabis grown with probiotics along with a diet of probiotics?” The word “microbiology” means tiny life. How simply put. Well, tiny life sustains us humans. Without the tiny life inside of us we couldn’t do anything, not even wake up to feel like crap or ingest horrible substances like narcotics, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, etc. and still live. Probiotics are life. Without them we would die.

If I had actually started taking the advice I paid good money to get from professionals instead of being hard headed and acting like I knew it all and had it all down and saw for myself what true self help I needed then maybe I could overcome my mental illnesses, my phobias, anxiety, etc. Maybe cannabis wasn’t working to its full benefits because I was still spiritually ill and ill on the inside. I knew what it was to detox from drugs and go “cold turkey”.

EM-1 was a product I had ordered for my plants. I ordered a 32 oz bottle first and then a gallon after that. I heard people on the PFA saying you could even use it in making beers or even drink it. I saw a YouTube video of someone drinking it right from the bottle on a gardening video blog made by a man from whom I use a lot of information. Right then I went and just added 1Tbsp of EM-1 to a gallon of water and drank it. I started eating more salads and I added chia seeds to a lot of things I ate. I went through my kitchen and started switching everything to products with an organic or NON-GMO label. I starting researching everything on the PFA and applying it to body health.

I started with a cleanse to detox the body using good old fashioned filtered water. I ate meals that were high in nutrients and homemade instead of processed foods. I ate as close to organic as possible. I abstained from sugar and sweeteners. This made my morning coffee horrible! I activated some EM and made AEM1 to stretch in the garden as well as ingest. I kind of just started spraying it all over my yard and even on my dog when he smelled…and no more wet dog smell! I would look into Facebook groups such as PFA and Effective Microorganisms and just read and read, though not for growing so much anymore. The grow tips were great, but I was really fascinated with how EM and Gro-Kashi could be used to help so many things even the Gro-Kashi to feed animals. In fact, my dog really loves Gro-Kashi. I have fed it to (Horses, Goats, Sheep, Cows) From time to time I did add Gro-Kashi to a recipe and found it really good.

Although I was feeling worse from detoxing, I knew I was getting better. I was feeling hopeful and less manic. Down to only 9 pills total a day and 4 different medications! It was really cool to see the change I was going through. Choosing self help instead of letting my shame make me choose self destruction and this time there was no program or person, no sponsor, or probation officer to hold my hand. This was me helping myself for the first time in my whole life with just the advice I had gotten from people and professionals over the years. Most of it I paid for. And, with all this advice I was able to make the right choices to make a turn around. A check from the government never sounded tempting to me at all, pennies a month and I can’t work? I’m not broken, I’m hurt. My mental problems, real or not, don’t break me. Even the begging man in front of the store has some worth to the world. No one is really worthless. People get taken advantage of in my situation. Taking a check could have led me to getting taken advantage of along the lines of not having a good or steady career. I am not broken. None of us as humans are. Self help starts with not letting shame get in your way. Shame causes people to self destruct as well. Don’t let it cause you to self destruct and find your own Self Help.


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