Thinking back on how I used to be before I got sober and dropped into a long period of depression really brings things into perspective. A song is playing right now and I remember playfully blasting this song at work and making people laugh. I was active in my drinking then. NEVER at work mind you. But I may have drank within the last few days.
It's also clear why being a functional addict who uses to cover an existing problem is tricky. I was still able to function in spite of drinking, and now I realize that I was drinking to function.
Looking back over my life I've almost always drank my way out of a depression when it got so bad that the depression was creating as many problems as drinking.
It's an ongoing thing. i was a depressed child and I am a depressed adult, with breif periods of repreive, but my mood is quite out of my control. There may be external factors that influence and things that I do or don't do that aggrivate or improve it, ultimately though it is what it is.
It took me a breif and controlled experiment in relapse to discover this. I'm not ashamed to admit it, in fact, I'll report my findings, because it was a fruitful experiment however dangrous.
As I'd suspected, I didn't want to stop after drinking in moderation.
As I'd read, the brains adaptions seem to be permanent. At the onset of buzz, I could almost feel my brain wrestle it to the ground and I was brought back to a hazy, functional clarity. The brain's adaptions to the poison are permanent. If I'm still awake, my brain has what it takes to effectively fight off any drunk or euphoria I used to feel.
I did have a few surprises. One, I didn't start pining for old relationships, nor did I reach out to be social. My new appreciation for solitude was enhanced.
I did enjoy music more, something that I always enjoyed but at the onset of sobriety couldn't stand the associations I have with almost every song there is to the past.
No surprise, the drunk wasn't all that enjoyable, nor was it that bad.
And I validated my reason for drinking. It's not the drunk I'm after necessarilly, I'd be a problem drinker at best if I ever wanted to stop after one. I woke up with a terrible hangover, alcoholic myopathy (awful body aches as the alcohol eats away at your muscle, feels like you've been beaten and bruised).
And I felt something I haven't felt in a very very very long time. NORMAL!
The 'drunk' is only the half of it. I've been drinking to self medicate depression. And it's effective. It's just that it gets out of control and the side effects are too much.
I'm glad I did it and I'll tell you why. It gave me perspective. I haven't felt NORMAL in so long that I was losing perspective on what normal was. And at the onset of buzz, being able to feel again, I could see where I've been going wrong, what's expected me of life, it was looking into a crystal ball for a breif moment. And I could also see how clearly I'm cut off from these things. I haven't been able to see them. Or feel them. And it helped alleviate a lot of the self blame. Which blame never helps anything no matter whether it's right or wrong.
And it made me care just long enough to want to regroup and attack the depression again more proactively. When you're depressed it's hard to even give a crap. I'd almost rather just fall tot he wayside and forget it because I don't feel worth saving. But a moment's look into the crystal ball was enough, I was presented with an array of all the places where I'm supposed to succeed and the faces of those who were counting on it.
Too bad I had to have a relapse to get in touch with that, but there's no quicker way to escape the jaws of depression. Unfortunately, it's temporary and the side effects are eventual fatality, and it makes your depression worse over time.
I'm not really ashamed of myself or upset about it. I'll use what I learned as positively as I can. Strangely, the depression hasn't gained a foothold since. I would imagine it will. But maybe the supplements and healthy lifestyle will help. We'll see.