ME 'N PILLS
Here is me. Age: three-quarters of a century; Sober: thirty-four years, in Alcoholics Anonymous. I am fairly serene, usually VERY happy, at peace with all I meet, overly enthusiastic about AA, and I am SO grateful to God, recognizing His gifts to me and to all of you, too. Why all this buildup? Please be patient, people! Not 'A Patient'...'Patience' patient...
For many years I've met, sponsored, dated, married, and otherwise dealt with people in differing stages of depression, and related 'issues' (hate that word!). Always have I known there were those of us who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, believing that many of them do recover IF they have the capacity to be honest (whatever THAT meant?). Well, I really thought that a lot of our 'depression' was an excuse for our disease, alcoholism, since --I reasoned--alcohol IS a depressant, right?
All these years, I alone, of all I knew (or so I thought!), admitted to none of the 'other' diseases which plague many of us. Yet, here was I, a pill-popper: ups, downs, and all-arounds, before, during, and after my breakfast (booze), lunch (booze), and dinner of huge burgers, fries, beer, and (booze). Looking back, I'm certain that doctors would have had a field day, IF I had let them get 'ahold' of me...but I was crafty, knowing that the first rule of medicine, "do not do anything you enjoy", was NOT going to be in my repertoire. ("Playbook", for you sports guys!) Not in THIS life.
To shorten this, I'll get to the point. This past March, Easter Saturday, I felt utterly betrayed by a dear friend. That very night I began crying. I didn't cry all the time, but I cried over anything, and everything. And boy, don't let me hear a sad story, or minor-key music--that would open the floodgates. I couldn't sleep, but maybe three or four hours per night, stopped eating, lost weight, and went to 3 or 4 AA meetings a day (twenty-five a week!). My wife said I was having a meltdown. (Actually, I don't know WHAT she thought.) Doctor said I might be having slight depression over my 2007 year of radiation, etc., etc., for prostate cancer and a couple other things. All who knew me agreed that a huge change had taken over my psyche. And people who cared--it seemed--were making excuses, reasons, for my unusual behavior. But only I--only I--knew the nut of the problem, and I wasn't 'talking'...no shrink for me, because, "All they know to do is WRITE on those little bits of pharmacy paper."
I felt 'accused' of being 'bad', because people would tell me I was way up, 'high', then way down 'low', and sobbing for no reason. My doctor (who knows me well, and understands alcoholism) suggested I see a shrink. I flatly refused. We argued. I won. Fear set in. They'd have to commit me...but first they'd have to find me--I'd just received in the mail my first ever 'genewine U.S. Guv'mint passport'! Africa, here I come!
It turned out that my doctor finally agreed something needed doing, so he prescribed a minimal daily anti-depressant, Lexapro 10mg, which I take religiously...and regularly -grin. Everything seemed to me then, to be OK. However, people close to me kept saying that I was still too happy! Well, I've been a happy sort of guy (happy-go-lucky, that is) most of my sober life, so I was not disturbed about 'happy'. SADNESS would shake me, because I've never been accustomed to that emotion.
Anyway, I just thought it was time to let y'all know that, as happy, serene, peaceful, as I am, I have also 'been there', but for only for a short time--and it is under control. I do not cry any more. Thank God, I do not harbor that old stinking thinking, e.g., "Gosh if ONE is good...TWO might be better!" Also, thank God they have medications now which do not render us helpless vegetables, what I call 'vegetarians'...Oh God!, I just lost two of the three readers of this blog! --BIG grin. Something tells me it's time to STOP--HERE!--NOW!
I'll sit back now and read the 'joke-for-the-day'...WHO wrote yesterday about the blind guy in the restaurant??? Whooopeee! "Yep, just one pill per day, doc."