Alcohol wasn’t the problem. It was the cure. It silenced the chaotic turbulence that presented itself as my thoughts. Like standing in an auditorium and everyone is shouting. It’s very difficult to pick up a single voice before it’s consumed in the noise. The ideas lead nowhere as one is killed by the next. Alcohol was the “SHUT THE FUCK UP” my brain needed. It brought silence to the audience and allowed peace to reign. If only for a short while. Its deadening effect became VERY appealing. I mean why wouldn’t it? If you lived in a noisy house wouldn’t you find a hobby to keep you out of there? Social anxiety wasn’t a thing in my vocabulary. I was just different. A mind on fire. Dousing it with lager quelled the flames for an evening. It made me feel “normal”!
In AA meetings I have heard people talk about the “washing machine” head. It’s discussed in a way that it is a by-product of drinking. That the obsession of alcohol gave birth to obsessional thinking. Alcohol was the cure for my obsessional thinking. It made me feel normal. I would be thinking about random shit long before drinking had entered my life. Someone once said to me “I am two pints behind normal!” What he meant was when he had two pints of lager he felt like a human being. It hit me like a crossbow bolt. I knew what he meant. Consuming alcohol allowed me to live in the moment.
Unfortunately, obsessional thinking has remained long after alcohol has left my life. The only cure I have found is setting goals. Hitting targets. Reaching for dreams. But that only gives temporary relief. I tried keeping it in the day like was recommended but I couldn’t help thinking where it was leading to? I mean if I am doing the same thing over and over then how am I progressing? Maybe progress isn’t the answer. Maybe the pursuit of happiness is what leaves me wanting all the time. I’ve got lost in the pursuit. Consumed by consumption. I lost the reasons why I was doing things. Misplaced meaningfulness in the meaningless. I got sidetracked… I forgot what I was doing it for. Without reason, I find it impossible to motivate. Work to earn to consume is so vacuous. I’m constantly left wanting. Empty. A bottomless void that can never be filled. Its darkness is expanding. Tainting the light. It begins to pull at my spirit. It wants my soul. It won’t take it. Not this time.
This isn’t “alcoholism”. It is depression. It has been with me forever. Following me around like a dark cloud. Tainting my light. Contorting positivity via mental gymnastics. Anxiety inducing twists and turns that M. Night Shyamalan would be proud of. It’s a fucking nuisance. At least at it’s worse it’s noticeable. In its mild form, it’s like someone messing with the contrast on the TV. The world loses a bit of its resonancy. The vibrancy is lost and it becomes dull. Lifeless. Joyless. The beauty is hard to find as my energy is redirected to getting through the day. Almost like the days with a hangover of old. The pain is similar; knotted stomach, sleepless nights, tired all day. Accept I don’t have the sweats that I had with a hangover. At least I had a cure for a hangover.
The weight is excruciating sometimes. It’s like someone turned the gravity up. I want to exercise but it seems like a big ask. I was running 10 miles about six weeks ago. Then poof. Even writing this feels like I am just moaning for the sake of it. That the words are just for attention and I’m just being a “fanny”. I want to snap out of it. I want to go for a run but I can’t. It’s frustrating. I eat well. Meditate. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. And still, it’s on me. Wrapping its dark tendrils around my nerves. Squeezing the air out of my lungs. Clinging to me like a needy partner. Demanding I don’t leave. Or if I do it is together, forever.
It wants me to believe that happiness is a lie. I was deluding myself that the world was vibrant and fun. Now, I see the world as it REALLY is. That’s what the feeling wants me to believe. To believe darkness is all there is. That negativity is the only option. That loneliness and lovelessness are guaranteed. No matter how far I travel. How much I meditate. No matter how many meds I take. All I am doing is delaying the inevitable. A sad, lonely death is my fate. But there is something I know. There is a realisation that throws that into question; if that is my guaranteed end then I may as well enjoy my time. Absolve myself of pressure. Remove the lead vest it feels like I have been wearing. Pursue love without fear because what do I have to lose? If life is meaningless then I can give any meaning I wish! If darkness is part of me then I should stop fighting and embrace it. Life isn’t perfect. Nor am I. That is the best I can ask for.
If only it was that easy to switch it off. If I could think myself out of it I would have done months ago. But I do know that it will get easier once I accept it. Which is difficult to do. The recurring thought is “I shouldn’t feel this way!” I’ve travelled the world. I’ve turned my life around yet depression still hangs like a dark cloud in a blue sky. It’s fucking annoying. Frustrating. Like having an evil twin who wants to mess my life up. Putting obstacles in my way for his own amusement. My pain is his pleasure. In reality, it is me doing that. A dastardly bastard depression is.
I had an evaluation the other day. They asked about suicide. I said I’d had thoughts but wouldn’t act on them. It turns out that suicidal thoughts are not normal. I’d accepted them as just a part of my psyche. Just a quirk of character. I thought waking every morning and imagining sliding a pistol up the back of my skull was normal. Turns out not. I was relieved when they said they would try to help me. It felt good. It didn’t cure it. Maybe it won’t but if it just gets a little vibrancy back in the world then it will be worth it. The simplistic beauty is what I miss most. Joylessness is just that.
If you are experiencing any of the things I have talked about then please don’t suffer in silence. I know it can be hard to reach out. It felt like a dent to my pride. An attack on my masculinity. If I can’t “do” life then I must be a fucking wimp? Not so. Reaching out and asking for help can be hard. It is worth the effort. Even just to find a bit of peace if your mind is chaos.
Thankfully, I ‘m not drinking. It just prolongs the agony. Plus I only ever lost fights while drunk.
Now, I can see the light. It will get easier. It will get better.
P.S. Feel free to share 🙂