Quitting alcohol made me human, not invincible!

I’ve searched high and low for solutions. Internal and external. Each works for a while. Then I return to the same feeling. Flat. Dead. Numb. I do not want to carry this cross anymore. Its weight is slowing me down. Normal things in normal life seem pointless. The joy of the simple has been taken away. My energy has been removed. This morning I spoke to a doctor about the situation. I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to acknowledge that the work I had done over the years hadn’t worked. It left me scared. Scared that it was all for nothing. All the recovery. The meditation. The exercise. Travel. All pointless if I’m going to end up feeling the same… it was a warning sign.

I know where the feeling leads. It isn’t a good place. Ignoring the feeling of hopelessness costs lives. Nobody wants to be sat in a GP’s office spilling their guts to someone they hardly know. But it is a damn sight better than standing on a bridge hoping for a miracle. Life is fucking short. It shouldn’t be spent in misery. Yeah, we have to do shit we don’t like to survive. But there are numerous days between should be enjoyed. It’s difficult to do when the dark cloud descends. The world seems ominous. The future without help is scarier than reaching out. The ego will tell you to walk tall. To soldier on and prove the world wrong. There are no winners in a one-sided war.

Last week, I was working at home and burst into tears. It lasted a few hours. I didn’t know why? It had been building up over the weeks. Each day a little harder than the last. Body getting heavier. Mind getting foggy. I didn’t drink. I didn’t want to drink. There was alcohol in the house I was staying at. I looked at it and thought what fucking difference would that make? I wanted to not feel the way I did. But I knew escaping wouldn’t change a thing.

I booked the wrong train tickets. Then I got on the wrong bus, twice. Had a panic attack. Mind started barreling around. I felt lost. I was less than a mile from my house. It was scary as fuck. I’ve been in places around the world and felt fine. A mile from my house and I was freaking out. I felt embarrassed. I had no option but to admit defeat.

I went to the doctors. I told them what had happened. I got prescribed Prozac counselling and a blood test. The works. I have been against antidepressants forever. Now I am out of options so I will try. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. The same situation as when I used alcohol to escape. That eventually stopped working also.

Even after six and half years of not drinking I still am not immune. Mental health is a tricky bitch. Even with a clean-living life, it is possible to succumb. I didn’t want to reach out. I felt ashamed. I felt weak. I felt like less than a man. Even in the waiting room I still wanted to run. Didn’t want to acknowledge it. History has taught me that denial is a fool’s game. So I stayed. I spoke. I felt better when I had got it out in the open.

We all have to do things in life we don’t want to do sometimes. Sometimes it saves your life. I didn’t want to quit drinking. It saved my life. A result of quitting is that I’ve had to face myself. Look inside and acknowledge problems. But even with that introspection, it is still possible to ignore issues. That is a dangerous road to walk. Last time I started feeling depressed I bottled it up. Eventually, I became housebound and suicidal.

Quitting drinking might not have made me invincible. But it has made me aware enough to not have to get to that extreme again. It isn’t easy. It is far from being cured. Thankfully, I don’t have to suffer in silence.

Charlie

13 thoughts on “Quitting alcohol made me human, not invincible!

  1. I can’t tell you how glad I am you have reached out for help. That’s huge and just shows how far you have travelled. I hear you … it’s frustrating and devastating when mental health does this to us. I have railed against it, denied it, seen it as a weakness and let it get the better of me. Taking antidepressants was a failure on my part, or so I thought. I have come off them 3 times and have finally accepted they are not a sign if my failure. My taking them was a sign of strength and simply a sensible move. They pause the process, stop the spiral downward and they allow me to breathe and step outside of the madness that is my brain … just a little … but enough to pull myself up and out. You are worthy of living a life without mental distress and you are on the right track to overcoming this. Sending hugs and love. Claire x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Claire. Sorry to hear you have had similar struggles. It is frustrating doing all the work; meditation, exercise, etc. Only to be dragged back into the quagmire. But the is optimism. And that’s important 🙂

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  2. I was almost five years sober before I relapsed this year. It was a lot things but specifically losing my mom that got me drinking again. I started to realize this past week that I needed to go back and be done with alcohol for good this time. More meetings. A month. Then six and so on. Thank you for sharing your own story. I know quitting the first time saved my life.

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    1. Hello James, sorry to hear about your loss. It is an extremely emotional time losing someone. Drinking to escape the feeling is an understandable response. Glad to hear you are back though. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Take your time. And here’s to a free and sober future ✌

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  3. So proud of you, Charlie, for reaching out and asking for help. Very smart and such a loving act to do for you. Also proud you are sharing it here, being real, and even though you’re uncomfortable you’re taking steps forward! One step at a time my friend. Sending much love to you!

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    1. Thanks, Dwight, it’s a position nobody really wants to be in. Thankfully, the journey of sobriety has made me look at life differently. Denying my suffering to appear strong only makes me suffer more. Unfortunately, many people don’t realise 😞. Have a great day

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Charlie. While I’m still drinking my face off, and taking an antidepressant, you’ve helped me to realize that maybe part of the difficulty I’m having to quit this time is being confounded by some depression as well…so time to increase my meds or change them…Take care. I really hope the Prozac helps. 💜

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    1. Nelson, I don’t know you. I don’t know your circumstances. Or how you feel. But I do know that when I drank my mental health was considerably worse than it is now. I never knew if I drank because I was depressed or if I was depressed because I drank. It was a painful time. Quitting drinking made it easier to manage. Yeah, I wilt at the knees sometimes but I know it will pass. I know quitting isn’t easy but it will make other things a lot easier to deal with. It’s worth the sacrifice. I hope you get a grip of it

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hear you, Charlie. In fact, after reading your blog post earlier today I had a brief glimmer of insight…realizing that while I’m under the spell of the booze, I am more or less unable to SEE my situation as it is. I used to criticize rehab, but now I totally understand it’s value. I wish I could afford to quit my job and go to rehab, but I can’t. What to do! What to do. I’m doing my best in the meantime. Love you, brother! 💜

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