This blog is about looking at the process of my recovery from addiction and alcoholism. My intent is to document the ups and downs so that in the future I can have an accurate recount of the steps that I took in my path to sobriety. I seek to understand myself and the truth behind what occurs in my life, of who I am at the core. This is not a glorified story, this is the truth, about how I feel today. November has been a hard month for me and it continues to be that way. Here is today’s reality.
Depression is relentless and it has got a very firm grip on me right now. If I look back at what triggered this particular bout it ignited right around the time of my last post about body image. I do not regret writing about the subject and would do it all over again if I had to. It was a subject that I needed to discuss and explore for myself. What I believe happened is that it opened me up to a new level of vulnerability, in my MIND anyways. The perception of increased vulnerability, and negative voices, have combined their strength to wreak havoc on me. It’s a matter of embracing the vulnerability for what it is, not what my MIND wants it to be.
For me, when depression arrives in my life I am stricken by an overwhelming sense of gray. Gray everything. It’s almost like I’m wearing sunglasses with a gray filter. Everything looks gray. Even if the sun is out it does not matter, life still looks gray. If I look back over the last year I’ve only had a handful of these prolonged periods. In the past my methodology of getting past them was to drink heavily and numb the pain. Now, I just need to acknowledge it, feel it, not react, and fight through it. It can be very difficult.
What’s amazing to me is that I’m still able to operate in certain regards despite the grayness. In fact, I’ve been very productive at work this week with networking meetings, emails, phone calls, and various other activities that are supposed to occur when building a business. However, it took everything yesterday morning to get my ass out the door for a run with a friend. I’m glad I did as the conversation we engaged in was fantastic, but it was still hard. What’s nice is that with friendships like that I can say exactly what is on my mind and how I feel, without judgement. These relationships are extremely important for me. They help me tremendously to understand my reality, to talk shit out, and without them I would not know what to do.
Perhaps the darkest it gets is when my MIND starts wandering down a very dangerous road after it is bombarded by negative thoughts. For instance, the thought crossed my MIND yesterday what it would be like if I walked into the middle of the road and into an oncoming semi-truck. Who would come to my funeral? Yes, that shit does go through my MIND. But it’s my MIND, not reality. This is clearly absurd thinking as I have a tremendously good and fulfilling life with an amazing support system around me. If I were close to taking action there would be several people that would get the call that I needed major help. As I’ve mentioned in the past I have been close to suicide once back in 2007 when Brian Hetzel saved my life one night after he found me on my stairwell with a vile of Percoset and a bottle of wine, ready to end it. After seeing how that affected my family and friends, and coming to understand that that particular instance was just a loud cry for attention, I will not let it happen again.
I capitalize the word MIND because I need to remind myself that my MIND and my reality are two different things. In the past I did not know the difference, I let my MIND do all of my decision making. Now, as I’ve come to find out how dangerous that can be for me, I try and filter the two, and listen to the entity that is surrounded by the now, the moment, not the past or future. As my friend Jack always says, “the future is an illusion.”
And so the fight with the gray continues. I find that when I write these experiences and purge this out to the world it helps me gain a sense of greater understanding of myself. It also helps me to be accountable to my friends and family, two reasons and reminders that help make my life today as gratifying as it is. For anyone that happens to read this, you mean the world to me. I gain strength from having you know my weaknesses.
By the way it has been shit weather in Corvallis this week which probably hasn’t helped the situation. Luckily however, it’s supposed to clear up tomorrow which is good, because I feel like I need some vitamin D.