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It's been a weird year.

Old 11-25-2019, 08:18 PM
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It's been a weird year.

So, I think I've been depressed a lot of this year and didn't really realize it. My therapist told me I was, and I had a hard time accepting it.

Looking back, I think I had quite a few symptoms. Some days were just ...well....dark, for lack of a better word. I went on a half a dozen medications trying to alleviate that coupled with anxiety, but nothing in pill form seems to work for me.

Then...man...like maybe, around 2 weeks ago...I just sortta snapped out of it. I'm glad I did because I was feeling BAD.

The way I grew up, "depression" was one of those terms for people who just were losing or had lost hope in basic things and were sad all the time. That wasn't me at all.

I was grumpy and anxious. I got frustrated really easily...I wasn't sleeping. When I did sleep, I wanted to lay in bed all day. I forced myself to get up and go though. I worked through it, physically . Like, I went through the motions of just putting one foot in front of the other until I felt better.

Exercise seemed to help me the most.. I started chopping wood to get out aggression. I made myself do at least 10 positive things for myself every day. I forced myself to go to AA and therapy. I tried meds. In the end it just took time.

My point...if you feel like you're getting depressed, get some help. I wasn't suicidal at any point...it never crossed my mind, but I was angry and sad and dark a lot of the year. I think I could have gotten better a lot sooner had I realized it or admitted it to myself.

So..there's my public service announcement for the week. LOL

Thank you people for being there for me.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:17 AM
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Bulldog,

I never had anything close to depression, quite the opposite really, until my second child was born 15 years ago.

Since then I have had boughts of depression on and off, thankfully mostly off.

But that first cycle was the worst thing I have ever experienced and the anxiety was worse than the depression. I would lie in bed looking at the wall for hours, go to the grocery store and not be able to decide what to buy, not be able to sit through lunch, want to crawl out of my skin, the list goes on.

My household was full of depression and mania as my father was bi-polar. But I never knew what he had gone through until then. I think that is the hardest part, if you have never been depressed or anxious it is hard to understand what it is like. I know I tried with my Dad but did not have a clue until I experienced it myself by which time he was gone.

So I second the public interest announcement and want to say that I am sorry you have had a tough year and glad to hear you are on the upswing. We are blessed to have the treatment options we do for depression and anxiety, which is not the case for all mental illness. But it still s$cks.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:13 AM
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Good to hear things sorted themselves out, Bulldog. I've had a similar year to you in many ways and I also tried medication but it didn't agree with me. No question my drinking will have exacerbated these negative feelings. And not fully committing to quitting has left me feeling like I'm stuck in a rut. Bring on 2020 and a happier and healthier year for us.

I have been experiencing bad issues with ankle instability caused by ligament laxity. This has meant that I haven't been able to exercise as I would have liked. Makes such a difference to well being. I'll probably get an op in 2020.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:25 AM
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Hi Bulldog,

Iím so glad you are starting to feel better, and I love how you kept trying to figure out how to treat your depression. Sending you lots of love this holiday season!

❤️Delilah
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Old 11-30-2019, 07:34 AM
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I deal with some anxiety and it sucks. Never depression. Exercise has helped me as well, just getting out sometimes is hard but I just DO IT! When I get to feeling bad I do push ups, it sounds strange but I do as many as 35 at once and then I do 4 or 5 more reps. it generally takes about 20 minutes but it really gets your mind going and active and thinking about the good stuff and the progress you've made. An added bonus is when al the girls at work say "wow have you been working out." BIG confidence boost. Anyway just try it if you can! Another trick I use is music, I put my headphones on and lay back in the lazy boy and blast some good ole music it really boosts my mood, rock, blues, and some heavy metal do the trick! Good luck Buldog
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:59 PM
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Hi bulldog.

Iíve suffered on and off with depression my whole life. On my dads side, there are a lot of mood disorders, and coincidentally also alcoholism on his side as well, I just inherited it. I think about things too much and Iíve just always felt Iím tethered to that dark underbelly of life in a way that canít offer release. I also have PMDD. I donít know how much lay dudes know about PMDD but itís brutal and leaves me sometimes almost psychotic.

Iíve tried so. Many. Meds. You name it, I tried it. Antidepressants, different types and levels of hormones for the PMDD, I even had someone put me on methylphenidate once to ďsnap me outĒ of the bedridden refusing to get out of bed behavior. It wasnít a good suggestion by the doc, I didnít sleep for three days and wandered the city....that was in my late teens. I donít trust meds now. Every single one of them failed. Usually, I turned into a zombie but sometimes Iíd get manic.

After getting rid of the booze which was obviously my favorite temporary relief for way, way too long: I have three tools now. Some of them are best as an adjunct to others but basically only three things can take the edge off my depression: 1. Nutrition 2. Exercise and 3. Doing something meaningful.

Nutrition can be a double edged sword because the behaviors can get weird but when itís on target, I have relief that I can notice. Exercise is a magic bullet. It works so well that Iíve begged my family to tell me to go to the gym when Iím sinking and canít seem to find my way out of the hole. As for doing something meaningful, this can sometimes be service to others: which my job is comprised of but becomes a source of stress often, also I volunteer with my daughter which always lifts me up: but also, flow. Playing piano, singing, putting together a garden, for someone else it might be writing, art, crafts..working on bikes or cars...decorating your house...whatever it is that puts you in a flow state can give relief. Some people achieve flow by being in nature, itís not quite enough for me but I can see how for some nature immersion could do it.

The hard part is, once depression takes hold, doing the things you need to do can be hard. Sometimes, it feels impossible. If we can remember that once we start doing the self care, the pain will inevitably start to lift, we can sometimes get up and make it happen.

Sobriety for me is finding these things. All of them. Even the ones that havenít served me that well (Netflix, binge eating, seclusion) I have experienced and moved through as many of them as I could. The three things I mention above are what works for me out of a long list of things I have done to try to cope with life without turning to a drink. The short list will be different for everyone.

But I think moving through your list actively and changing it and adapting it is just the work of dealing with depression and becoming sober. Especially if the traditional methods havenít worked like they should.

Thanks bulldog for allowing me some space to talk. Iím glad youíve been able to move out of your dark space for a number of weeks now, I understand fully what that kind of relief feels like.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:55 PM
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Sassy-Something you said maybe a month ago or close to it, went through my head and it really helped me. You mentioned that you were ok not being 100% ok. That feeling s#itty for awhile, is sometimes just a natural reaction. So yeah...I get that now.

My sobriety is taking a turn towards just moving on with my life, with this monkey off my back. I don't think about booze anymore...I don't crave anything...it's not even a fleeting thought when I get angry or sad or whatever it used to be, when I would drink.

I just find myself a bit lost sometimes..like I'm waiting to go back into sobriety combat mode, remembering the war it took for me to get here. I put on the emotional battle armor, grab the sobriety sword and there's nobody left to fight. I guess that's peace. At least freedom.

I feel like sometimes all I know how to do is early sobriety. I can do that. I ate, drank, bled and lived it 24/7. This "rest of life" s#it is hard. I'm always getting frustrated at my reaction to handle simple s#it that seems to come so effortlessly with most "normal"people. I find myself chuckling at myself as I write this..So I guess I can laugh at it. I guess that's growth.

I'm doing OK. Just trying to manage my family and some kind of a career .
That's way better than what I was doing 4 years ago- drinking with no end in site except an early death.
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Old 12-16-2019, 07:58 PM
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Yes.

I still have to remind myself that Iím a serious alcoholic. But without the daily fight, life changes.

We had to adapt hard and fast to early sobriety and we battled, but then another adaptation had to take place too.

How to live life without the dramatic swings up and down. Without the drama. Without using all our might and sweat to keep that heavy lid on our emotions or slippery situations or alcoholic thoughts, what do we do, and how do we live this way?

I had never really lived without the ups and downs, the swings, the drama, the danger, the chaos. It was 30 years of this bullsh1t and 2 years is NOT enough time to adapt to this person I am now, I donít totally recognize her, honestly.

Right now, she seems kind of depressed and sad, but as I said: itís only been two years, Iím repeating these milestones (like Xmas) and realizing despite it seeming like a long time without a drink, I canít even fill out a hand with the number of times Iíve done the holiday sober by choice (I donít count pregnancy, thatís sobriety for the tiny ones, not for me).

But, that thought process that nothing on earth, not even the worst thing imaginable is a reason for a drink, persists; and carries me through, and you know what with each day that passes with me believing that, I just believe it more.

We may always struggle with simple sh1t, in fact there are ways we approach life that may actually be consequences of the way we poisoned our brains for years on end. So deep breath and thanks for being alive and step, breathe, step, breathe, step.....
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Old 12-20-2019, 08:33 AM
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Congrats to you, BD, for taking such great care of yourself.

To you as well Sassy.

To say my recovery has been entirely static and linear would be a fabrication.

The most insidious feature of depression is that it doesn't just announce to you that it has decided to pay you a visit.

To paraphrase Carl Sandburg (about fog), it creeps in on little cat feet.

For me, stress, anxiety and seeming hopelessness seem to come out of nowhere.

I eventually determine that I have depression and simply take some extra meds for a few days and it recedes.

I then feel back to normal.

I manage my depression and anxiety - they're not cured.

Like my alcoholism, having depression and anxiety is not my fault, but addressing them is my responsibility.

Kudos to all of us on here who work so hard to take care of ourselves.

Getting sober is about growing up and getting better.

It's not about languishing in hopelessness and misery - we did plenty of that while we were drinking.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:14 AM
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Awesome post BullDog.
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