Battling the booze
When the black dog bites, many of us reach for a drink. It can ease the pain, help us relax, block out what's going on in our minds. If it's just the odd drink now and then, even one or two a night, there's no harm and maybe even welcome relief. But for some of us, many in fact, literally drowning our sorrows becomes a problem in itself. We drink more and more until the booze takes over, and drinking becomes all we want to do.
That was me for a long time until I finally realised the combination of booze and depression would kill me. If I wanted to live, if I wanted to be able to manage my depression, I had to get sober. I did, nearly five years ago, and it's the hardest thing I've ever done.
If booze is controlling you and you're not controlling it, this thread is for you. If you want to regain control - get sober or moderate your drinking (which for many is harder than quitting) or if you're worried you are drinking too much, join us here.
On this thread I'll talk about my battle with the booze and offer advice and support to anyone who is struggling. I welcome anyone who's been there or is worried they are going there, to join in. And I hope others now living sober will come here to help our friends who are struggling.
One thing this thread is not is a place to discuss how much a drink or two helps you. It's not an anti-alcohol thread, but it's not a general discussion about alcohol either. It's for people who are genuinely worried about it or who want to control it, and it's a place of celebration (without judgment about drinkers) for those of us who are now living sober.
I hope anyone who's battling the booze will join us.
Hi Moon hun, sorry I've been off the forum for a few days so have just seen this. Crying everyday isn't good my friend - it's a sign of despair and feeling lost. And it's exhausting in my experience. As we both know, booze isn't going to help either - even though it might make us feel better at the time, we'll feel a whole world of worse later.
I see from your thread you've been to your psych - did she give you any advice to follow? The good news hun is that it will pass. I just don't know how soon. But generally depression does eventually ease and then pass, especially if you take good care of yourself in the meantime.
Are you up to some exercise at the moment? Something that worked for me when I was battling the drinking urges was to make myself physically tired by the end of the day so I just fell into bed and slept. It can really help with depression too if you're up to it. I know often it's very hard to do, and I have days where I can't possibly get out of bed, but if you can do it, get moving and keep moving - a long walk, a dip in the sea.
Another thing that helps me is a particular type of music, designed to work on the brain through particular rhythms and frequencies (binaural beats). I know it sounds a bit hippy and I was sceptical, but I tried it and was impressed. If you google 'music to ease depression' you'll find a range of tracks on YouTube (for all sorts of things, anxiety, depression, concentration etc). Perhaps try having a walk with it on your phone with earphones on.
Just some thoughts lovely, I wish they were more. You've had a rotten time lately, but I do believe you'll come through it. Be patient with yourself, no self-criticism and take good care.
Hello there Kaz...how are you, you lovely creature? Just letting you know I haven't had a drink....nah, what's the point? I know afterwards, it would just be another thing to feel "anxious" about! and beat myself up about no doubt, breaking my three and a half year record!! Would probably defeat the purpose....all the "stuff" would still be there after I'd had the drink, just like it was before!!...Oh S...t!!
We have problems all the time, they will never go away, so what you need is that strength to work through that problem without alcohol, then you can make a more sensible decision and not a decision you make while you're drunk, there is an enormous difference between these two, and the decision you make while you're drunk will not be the same to what you think in the morning. Geoff. x
Dear Kaz, I don't think I can do this much longer. I posted on my other "depression" thread that this is the lowest I have ever felt..i.e. without the self-medication of alcohol. I know things were much more serious back years ago, but they didn't seem as bad and did not get me this "down" because the few drinks made me feel better - it did work!! Now I have nothing to lean on..nothing.
I have been depressed for over a month now, afraid I will cry at inappropriate times and make a fool of myself. I am getting closer and closer to having a drink. I need some relief from this emotional pain I am going through. I cannot do this much longer Kaz, and Geoff, and the others who have been where I am....please say you have been there too, and know how I am feeling.
I have and I do hun. I really do.
OK, so what do you want from drinking right now? Do you want the taste, do you want the company (a bottle can be company when there's no one else), do you want to take the edge off so you can ... what? Or do you want to wipe yourself out so you can't feel this way? Be oblivious or unconscious of everything around you?
For me it was the latter. It took a while to realise it once I got sober - I didn't miss having a drink , I missed oblivion. I still do sometimes. Trouble is, drinking enough to reach oblivion makes you unable to function when you do have be awake and alert etc. Makes you miss out on life really.
If you want to take the edge off the pain, what then? And will that easing of pain (which it does, for sure) help with the subsequent guilt and recrimination you'll put yourself through.
There are other ways to ease the pain hun, and I'm wondering if the pain is worse because you're feeling deprived of something you want (alcohol).
My psych is trying to get me to balance out bad memories and my tendency to see the negative in everything I've done by making the good memories and positive qualities bigger in my mind. One key thing she mentions is getting sober. We tend to remember and feel guilty about the bad things we did while drinking; she says to focus on the difficulty and achievment of getting sober. Focus on what a HUGE positive thing that was. Remember the times we thought it impossible, the times we thought it would kill us (nearly did for me). Then think of the fact that we did the near impossible, we survived. We're extraordinary!
I'm not sure what else to say hun but I think you really need to get out what's going on underneath that's making you want to escape through booze. Who's helping you? Psych? Doctor?
I know you can do this Moon - and I don't just mean stay sober (though that's very very important). You can get you back again.
Much love hun
Thanks for being there for me Kaz. To answer some of your questions....No, I never did drink for oblivion...I've never passed out from drinking. I never had to go on and on until I was either drunk or passed out. I drank to dull the pain, and tone down the excessive anxiety/worry/guilt about how I was going to cope with what was happening -multiple things, it never seemed to be just one challenge, but a number in a row, all demanding my attention.
It's similar now..not just one thing, but a number all in a row, all for me to adjust to...some frightening, (hence the worry and anxiety) some heart-breaking (hence the pain) some also involve guilt (which I know is useless but alcohol blots that out too). No I haven't had a drink, probably won't...just need to say every now and then how much want to, and how hard it is.
Re my GP and psych......the GP refers me to the free sessions with the Psych...the Psych talks to me and listens to what I have to say. Then I go home again - the rest is up to me...sometimes I am not enough.
Hi Moonstruck, I have had some terrible battles with the grog. I read how to give up drinking the easy way - its wasn't easy but very helpful book with tips and things that made me wonder how I ever got to where I was at and why did I think I needed it so bad. Just feelin your struggle, been there too many times.