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.