50 Not-Out, but dark clouds still loom

person wearing red hoodie sitting in front of body of water

I’ve inadvertently taken a bit of a break from blogging and I’m still struggling with the motivation to write but I reached a milestone a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it.

Sunday was my 50th consecutive day sober which I’m pretty confident makes this stint the longest since I ‘became’ a drinker – some 16 or so years ago. While these 50 days have been challenging at times, they have been a lot easier than I anticipated and I honestly rarely crave or fancy alcohol, at least for the moment. Saying ‘no’ or choosing ‘no’ is almost an ingrained process now and it’s as normal to me as drinking every day was. Don’t get me wrong, there have been circumstances where I would have liked a beer – mainly due to the people I was surrounded by – but not waking up with a single regret or hangover is simply bliss.

When I decided to ditch the booze I (wrongly) thought that much of my depression and anxiety would also evaporate. I’ve struggled with depression and low moods for many years but it can be pretty infrequent and extremely unpredictable, hampered by my obsessive and addictive personality. If you are someone who believes addictive personalities (or another term for it) don’t exist by the way, please feel free to use me as a case study – I’ll prove to you that I can become compulsive about pretty much anything – exercise, food, alcohol, work, being lazy, films, music, bands, TV shows, sex, famous people – you name it.

The last two or three days have probably been my lowest since I started this journey. I have felt really low mood-wise, I’ve been very insular and I’ve let all kinds of feelings and emotions consume me. A lot of my mood and unhappiness I can directly link to my work situation but equally, I’ve not been able to get as much joy from the things (and people) I love, which really saddens me.

I’ve had a bit of a better day today and I have a really fun weekend to look forward to – catching up with a good friend I haven’t seen for a while and seeing a band in London. It’s the one thing that’s kept me going this week to be honest, otherwise I could quite happily stay at home, shut the curtains and bunker down for several days. Life and work obligations render this impossible so I’ve just been carrying a dark cloud with me all week.

When I gave up booze I ignorantly thought that this would solve a lot of these feelings and prevent them from rearing their ugly head. These past few days have proven me very wrong and has given me much more to work on besides giving up alcohol. In some ways I feel very stupid.

Depression is ugly and it’s just as debilitating as alcohol to me. It’s another fight I need to confront head-on but strangely I’m more scared of this one because there isn’t one ingredient I can take/not take to make things better. It’s dictated by many, many, many factors and those things all have to be in synch to prevent it – which is asking a lot of any person.

Life just continues and it throws a lot at you. I need to learn how to face it in a way that’ll be as kind to me as possible while also trying to get to the bottom of it all. I don’t think I’ll ever find the answers but I’ll keep searching.

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