My last post (read here) was born from confusion and desperation - an attempt to explain and understand my struggles of late. Yesterday morning, I cried, vented and listened my way through my appointment with a very caring and professional psychiatrist at Christchurch PsychMed. My greatest fear was that she would say I was fine and send me on my way. She told me I ticked every single box for clinical depression, and talked me through the medication I will likely be taking for the next 6 - 12 months.
We talked about how I felt giving up alcohol had made it harder to squash my feelings down and regardless of whether it precipitated tipping me into this depression I didn't regret it for a second. I will say again: ALCOHOL WILL NEVER HELP WITH ANYTHING EVER. She agreed with me, but added that for people with anxiety it does work in the short term - as the alcohol gives immediate relief - but never in the long term. Alcohol is a "toxin", she told me (as I nodded in complete agreement).
The sleeping pills she prescribed sent me into the deepest sleep I've had for weeks. I needed it. Even after I woke up I lay in bed with a blank mind for the first time in forever. But now the facade has dropped. It was such hard work keeping how I was feeling hidden, and I no longer have the energy or will to keep the veil up (which is a little scary). This morning I struggled to make my toast and pour my coffee and just sat alone at the kitchen table with tears streaming down my cheeks, for no reason and every reason - my kids laughing and playing in the other room.
Yesterday I stepped down from my role of responsibility on the board of my daughter's Preschool. These people have become like another family. I felt torn between feelings of letting them down, and knowing I needed to take pressure off myself and look after me. I met with the head teacher who I had confided in earlier in the week, and she was amazing. I confided in a couple of friends late yesterday and they have been incredible, one sharing her own experience. The more you talk about these things the more you find common experience. I know I am far from alone. I'm lucky to have so many people around me who care and understand.
While my world is grey at the moment, my beautiful kids, my incredible wife, and my friends are providing me some light. I picture their faces and it provides me some relief.
It's funny how in the early days of my sobriety I poured out blog after blog of how I was feeling, several a week. Lately I've been lucky to have the inspiration to write one a month, but now I feel the need to rush to the keyboard and rationalise everything I am feeling in print. It seems to activate a part of my brain and helps calm me and ground me in a more productive reality.
I told my psychiatrist I was never going to drink "ever again" , especially now and her reply was a simple: "Good!"
Even though for a few fleeting seconds you think it will be the answer to all your problems, it isn't.
Right. I literally have 3 minutes till I need to take the kids off to swimming, and despite how I feel, life must roll on.