That Sneaky Dog called Depression (and its mate called alcohol)

Like a vicious, rabid dog, just when you just think you’ve got depression beat it comes back and bites you in the arse when you’re least expecting it.

I haven’t had a down day for many weeks, until that was Saturday. I woke up early in the morning feeling fine and dandy. I wrote an optimistic, upbeat post about moving on from here; Where to Now in the blog and then, bang, out of nowhere, it hit me.

I sat in my room until about 2.00pm doing absolutely sweet FA. I stared at the wall, I tried to go back to sleep, I tried to read, but whatever I did just wouldn’t lift my mood.

More recently, I’ve been able to deal with it. If the mood takes me over, I just accept that it’s going to be a bad day and go back to bed but, for some unknown reason, Saturday was different. The mood wouldn’t shift and finally, in my eminent wisdom, I decided that a beer or two would help.

Will I never learn? Alcohol is a depressant you prat.

So, determined to be normal again, off I trot down a local pub that I know, where I thought I wouldn’t be spotted. It took me a while to get there. I did stop a few times and think it over but in the end my booze brain beckoned and, like a fool, I gave into it.

Just One Pint

The first pint was great! I sat outside the pub, nice cold lager in hand and even tried to pace myself a bit but, before I knew it, I was on my second and then my third. I’m not used to drinking now like I used to be so after a swift three pints, I was starting to feel the effect. So much so that any resistance to further drinking, any sane thoughts as to how I couldn’t actually afford to drink again, completely evaporated.

So, a quick visit to the cash machine and off to the next pub.
By the time I had finished the money, I think I had drunk six or seven pints. I’m not really sure but the lack of much change in my pocket would point to that number.

Far from pissed but definitely feeling the effects, I made my way back to the hostel intending to just go to bed and forget about everything but guilt got the better of me and I poured out my heart to one of the staff there.

To make matters worse, when I spoke to my children on Sunday, my daughter decided to read the riot act to me with regards to drinking. Completely unprompted and she can’t possibly have known anything about Saturday, she proceeds to tell me that If I’m still drinking they won’t be able to come and visit me. Talk about timing. Kick a man when he’s down why don’t you. Still it did serve as a poignant reminder of why I have to stay on the straight and narrow.

They say that relapse is a part of recovery, they are right. I have proven to myself that I am still not strong enough yet to be able to drink like a normal person. For me, one is simply not enough.

It’s all just a case of learning though. I haven’t been defeated; I’ve just learned a couple of important lessons. I’m neither free of depression nor of alcoholism but I am learning to control both.

It’s just like learning to ride a bike; at first you fall off a few times but you eventually I’ll get the hang of it.

I’ve come too far and I’m not giving in now.

To all those in recovery; watch out for that dog that bit you, he’s just around the corner and he's waiting for his chance to pounce.