An Alcoholic’s Experience with Depression


Alcoholic’s Experience with Depression


This has been weighing on my heart, and when something weighs on my heart well, I need to give it to you. I’m not sure why-I just know it helps me move in a better direction.

Throughout my sobriety as well as some of my using years I’ve been on anti-depressants. I’ve struggled with everything from suicidal ideation to shutting down emotionally and pushing away all that I love, during the last 12+ years sober. I’ve had moments, weeks and even a few months in a row of legitimate joy or perhaps happiness. These times are always marked by how many people I’m helping, able to impact in a real and genuine way.

See, I don’t believe God is working on me when I’m “working on myself” in fact I don’t even believe I can “work on myself.” I believe God works on me when I’m working with you, helping you. I did stand up comedy for a while and had some great shows with some big names and a lot of bombs- really though behind it all like most comedians I’ve met, was just a sad clown. Us depressive type well, we often laugh lest we cry. People’s words cut us deeper, the wickedness of the world seems to penetrate our hearts sharper and sometimes the slightest things- eye contact with a homeless person, a dead bird in the road or even just a television commercial can send us spiraling down. The Technicolor of the world seems to vanish, and it goes to black and white, and before we know it everything is just grey. Always in the background, underlying the totality of my life is a quiet sadness which subsides when I can make you laugh or believe in yourself.

Praying has helped as has meditation. However, I don’t fool myself as I know my depression lurks quietly like a black cat in an alley during a foggy, moonless midnight. So it’s always come down to the good Lord and me. It’s still about my actions, even when those efforts can just be telling the cashier at my local grocery store she has a pretty smile or taking that extra time to throw my big ole German Shepherd, Bear a stick for an additional twenty minutes during a chilly October Saturday. Actions, not words, have allowed me to have God in my life, who ultimately I believe with AA’s help saved me from a brutal opiate, alcohol and benzo addiction.

I’ve made a few mistakes in my sobriety- we all have. Sometimes I’ll allow those mistakes to break my heart over, and over and over again just as I have mistakes I’ve made from 30 years ago. Subtle, insidious the Devil can be- Driving that long black train of depression. I try to live my sermon and have fallen short as I will every day until I leave this earth, as will you as will all of us. How I live this life though, well that’s what I want control of, and I know the only way to do that is through God and Action and Cymbalta 60 mg. once daily. ?

It’s not so bad, this sober life.

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Saul Kane

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