Not, mine, but it was funny to me. Hey, it’s Tuesday, so get the lead out and move it along.
At this time of year I wanted to touch on depression. It is a hard time of the year for many people to deal with. Before I got my act together I spent every holiday depressed. Why? Why does depression afflict anyone; I have not always been sure. Fine one minute, not the next.
For many years I treated my depression with alcohol: When I was younger and my body could take more, I treated with both alcohol and speed. It worked for me, except, even then, I knew it wasn’t actually working.
I would get depressed, make it as through my day as I could, and then start drinking: In effect I was stuffing all that pain, anger, loneliness. One day the cork popped out and I blew up. I This time I didn’t try to kill myself, instead I went off the deep end and destroyed my entire life and the lives of those close to me.
It was my wall, that’s what we say in AA, you will continue to drink and drug until you hit that wall, then it will be over, hopefully. So hit the wall, rest up, sober up, make promised and then find themself drunk or high or both again. Some hit the wall and die. Finally it is really over, at least for them, but not for those they left behind. And, is there satisfaction? Yes and no. They don’t awaken to a better life. Dead is dead, but they don’t awaken, and sometimes the depression can get you that hard: Where you don’t want to awaken, so the satisfaction comes before the death?
Since I have tried it and very nearly succeeded more than once, I can tell you no satisfaction came to me in those second before I lost consciousness. None at all, and there was certainly none when I awoke.
The last option is to get up from that major wall hit and do something hard: Get straight. Realize death is not an answer to anything; drinking and drugging did not help, it simply stuffed that emotion, and you can only hold so much. That is why it always comes back, because it is right there under the surface waiting for an excuse.
For me it was very hard, and I’m not special. There was no magic. No special formula, not order of things I did that made it stick when it had not before: I think it was a desire to be real. To admit that I wanted to live, to be loved, to care and be cared for; that was much different than my life-long mantra that said I wanted to be alone, I’m fine, get away from me.
The thing is, life is never going to be on our terms, it just isn’t. Life is going to unwind and more forward with or without you, and you have to realize that you have to take responsibility for that. You have to, because if you don’t other people will have to make decisions without you, or because you didn’t, and that will affect you even if you don’t want it to. You can find yourself in a place you don’t want to be and wonder how you got there: Because you ignored life, decisions, responsibilities.
I know it sounds like feel good words, maybe like bull, but it is true. You and only you make your life, by the decisions you do or do not make and the actions you take or neglect taking.
Once I get some of that fixed in my head it was clear I had been living a life as some sort real un-dead person. Waiting to die. Stumbling along waiting to be through with a life I hated. I couldn’t really understand why I ended up in a place like that, with a philosophy like that, but I had my head far enough into the light to see that all my excuses: She hurt me, he screwed me over, it is my race, it was because of that guy, that inequality, was all bull. Bull, all of it. It was me.
The truth is I never had much self esteem. Maybe I never had the right kind of discipline either. Respect, belief in God, nobody really seemed interested in helping me. Maybe some of it is true,m,and maybe all of it is skewed because I can only see it from my perspective.
I had to take it all and let it go. I had to get rid of influences that made me remember it. That meant, people, places, items, possessions, thoughts, beliefs. I had to clean it out of me instead of wallowing in it. Instead of drinking and drugging to bury it, to seem to rise above it for a moment, to feel less pain.
I will tell you, actually dealing with it was the hardest thing I have ever done; because I had never done it. When most people I met in life were dealing with life as it came, I was not, and having to was hard. I had no template, no guide not a single plan of any kind at all.
From the day I made the decision to actually deal with life until the day I finally began to internalize that and believe it, three years slipped by. Three years of seeking and not finding; of trying and failing at things, or not getting the success I wanted or needed. Three years where I did not even seem to understand who I was. Three years where the ones that remained in my life saw me as the same old person and were simply waiting for me to fall again; even reminding me in words and actions that they had little or no faith in me.
That is not paranoia in the healing process, it is actual. It meant I finally cared about someone besides myself. True, their comfort, well being, view of me had begun to seep in: I could see what they saw and didn’t see in me.
That was the real beginning of healing. Understanding all the damage I had done to others; not crying and wanting pity for the things that had been done to me. Those slights, hurts, pain, evil things have been done to everyone. Yes, everyone. The man or woman standing next to you may not have suffered the same pain, insults and abuse that you did, but they did suffer. The grass isn’t any greener over there, it’s just different grass. As an addict I only wanted the new. The temporary, I did not want to invest time in making repairs, because inside I think that I knew those repairs were needed on me, not my fellow person, me.
I don’t want to include my circumstances, where I was, what life was subjecting me to because of my own actions and the choices I had made, because it doesn’t matter. Addicts, people who deal with and live in depression come from all walks of life, all sorts of circumstances, and leaving those circumstances to heal yourself will be different for everyone. Leaving, I might note, may not mean leaving things physically, but mentally. Leaving that thought process you have been using for years that has taken you nowhere. Leaving that attitude that life owes you something. Leaving that way you have treated people that love you. My idea is to heal yourself within the circumstances you are in: With provisions, so don’t twist my words.
Leave those people you party with. Leave those souls who are suckers, hanging onto your life and dragging you down. Hard? Yes; but you know you can’t save others, you can not even save yourself.
Stop using people who love you. Tell the truth about yourself and even your motivations as you see them: Understand that when you do you are going to lose some people who are close to you. It’s inevitable, but to keep them you will compromise and to compromise is setting yourself up for failure again.
Don’t expect people to automatically understand. They won’t. They may never understand them. Don’t expect forgiveness. If you are like me there re things you have done that you will want to be forgiven for because they weigh heavily on your mind, your soul. Most likely you will never be forgiven by the ones you need it from the most. In that case? Turn to God. Really, God is the only one who can offer that. I can’t do it, not for every situation. I try, but I am human and that is the best I can do, so how can I expect others to do it for me? I can’t
I hope you understand what I have written. I hope that you can see that there absolutely is hope, there is sobriety and you can have it, Dell.
If you would like to more about my life as a n addict and how I finally did get back on my feet, check out this book:
United Kingdom: Addiction: Conversations with my Fathers
Amazon U.S: Addiction: Conversations with my Fathers.
Australia: Addiction: Conversations with my Fathers
Canada: Addiction: Conversations with my fathers
Paperback U.S.: Conversations with my fathers
Whatever you do? Believe in yourself and begin to repair your soul, Dell.