Alcohol and Depression/Oil and Water

21 Mar

They don’t mix. I know this. I suspect most people know this. Why do then do I, like many others with depression, turn to alcohol so readily as a means of escape, knowing that in the long run you will definitely make yourself worse as you slowly slip into one of those black holes that epitomises a ’bout’ of depression that knocks you for six for varying degrees of time.

I suppose the first reason is lack of awareness of the problem. Apart from the fact that it took me a while to fully realise that I was suffering from depression, even after I did I didn’t know that alcohol was a ‘depressant’ that would in fact negatively impact on depression. Even after I did know this, and here is the key point, you can go for years, just like I and many others have done, and embrace the short term mood elevation of drinking. It is very easy to do this because alcohol is a big part of social life. When you are in a place whereby the thought of telling people you have depression is the last thing you ever want to do because you’re scared of the stigma, of being seen as weak etc. it is simply preferable and easy to fake your way through social interactions by embracing drink. In all honesty drink can just become a crutch that you can’t imagine doing without because of the escape it brings.

Of course I am reaching the point of my life where I am determined to start making new and improved lifestyle choices and decisions and one of those is shunning alcohol. I’ve been down that road so many times in the past that it doesn’t appeal to me any more. In saying that I have to be honest and say that in the course of this week I have slipped up drink wise, stemming from the fact that I still haven’t plucked up the courage to come out and tell everyone yet about depression etc. so in the course of being out and being offered alcohol I haven’t refused.

The journey has certainly begun though, writing what I have done for my life writing class, which is being workshopped in class tomorrow I think is a big step that will help in telling the people closest to me. I certainly know that turning around the habits of a lifetime will take a while to achieve but the willingness is there as areImage the beginnings of change.

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