Alcoholism and Depression

Alcoholism and depression go hand in hand. Most alcoholics and addicts are depressed. They may not even know it. For years my doctor suggested I might be depressed. I always said I didn’t feel depressed. I got up early every morning. I did all the things I needed to do. I always found something in the day that was joyful. I laughed often during the day. I had lots energy. The problem was that sobriety only lasted for a year at the most before I was back to the drugs and alcohol. When I was honest with myself (which wasn’t often), I knew there was a hole in me waiting to be filled. There was a feeling that I was hungry all the time.

I tried filling this hole with God, drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes and food. I believe completely in God and that He is able to heal me. What I started to learn was that I wasn’t letting him. Coming from a back ground of chaos, I have always needed to be the one in control. I was not about to relinquish control to something I couldn’t see.

I have learned that one of the definitions of depression is anger turned inward. It can be anger at others for the things they have done to us. It is the inability to forgive. It is also anger at ourselves. Most addicts and alcoholics feel they aren’t worth anything. Whether it is a message from the past, or guilt for the things we have done as addicts. It doesn’t matter, we are angry at the world. To get along in the world, we can’t go around showing our anger all the time so we stuff the anger down. My anger started at 5 years old, but it has taken until the age of 55 to finally give it a voice.

Addicts and alcoholics can’t stand to feel sad. They don’t know how to hurt or how to allow themselves to grieve. So when all that stuffed anger and pain starts to rear its ugly head, we can’t deal with it and we go back to the only way we know to make it go away. Our anger is making us tired. It has taken all the joy and zest out of our life. We are at a crossroad. We can finally choose to walk through all this and deal with it or we can go down the same road we know.

I am a big fan of journaling. It is a safe place to write, to grieve, to cry, and to be angry. It gives me insights into feelings I didn’t know I had. Thanks for letting me share and keep coming.

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4 comments on “Alcoholism and Depression
  1. Gene B says:

    Interesting write up. Could you please share more about journaling?

  2. Laurie2010 says:

    Gene,
    Thank you for coming to my site and commenting. You took your first step by acknowledging your problem. I am proud of you. Many people have never take that step. If there is anything I can do to help please don’t hesitate to ask. I learned how to journal just recently in college. I went out and bought a journal but a pad works fine as well. All you do is write down your thoughts as they come. Don’t worry about punctuation or spelling. You can start writing about a problem to get started. Whatever comes into your mind-write about it. I found that sometimes I didn’t know what was bothering me until I started writing. Just by writing what came into my mind, helped me to make decisions about things I was unsure of. Keep your journal in a safe place where no one can find it. This is a place that you have to feel safe to write anything at all. Try to write for at least 20 minutes, but longer is better. I did it every day for awhile, but once a week is a good place to start. If I can be of further help let me know.

    Good Luck,
    Laurie

  3. Gene Travis Bickford says:

    WOW! just shy of 2 yrs ago when I asked this question, I truly felt I was ready to quit drinking then. I hadn’t realized it has been that long.
    I know I am an alcoholic, I knew it then and I know it now. Something has changed in me, I now admit I am powerless. I don’t just want to quit drinking, I want/need to change my thinking as well.

    Over the last few days I have been reading your writings, talked to 2 friends that are in AA, and one gave me the Big Book that i have been reading.
    I went to my first AA meeting last night, and listened to a bunch of folks that sounded just like me, in fact I’m pretty sure one guy stole my thoughts, his story was so close to mine.

    I will attend many more AA meetings, and tomorrow i will follow your advice about keeping a journal.

    Laurie, I want to thank-You for keeping this site going. Know that your writings where instrumental to me contacting friends that gave me the Big Book, all of witch gave me the courage to walk into an AA meeting alone knowing as soon as I entered, I am no longer alone.

    Thank_You Laurie

  4. Laurie2010 says:

    Gene, Thank you for your kind words about my site. One of the hardest things I have had to come to terms with is my own personal powerlessness over my disease. I am prideful and a control freak so it has been a tough road to understanding how powerless I really am. As far as being ready two years ago-the truth is we are ready when we are ready. I have often thought I hit my bottom and I will never use again but then find myself back out there again. I am glad you found a meeting that you feel good about. When I walk in the doors of AA/NA I feel like I am home and safe. They are the only ones who know what we go through. I strongly suggest that you do 90 meetings in 90 days. It really cements the chances of quality sobriety. It may sound like alot of meetings but it is quite possible to do. I have done it several times. I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are but it looks to me as if God is knocking on your door-are you going to open it?

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