Sunday, August 24, 2008



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!

Steve E.

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."


Laura said...

You're right where you need to be and you recognize key parts of this picture. And Lexapro 10 mg and I got acquainted this past winter while trying to juggle all things and dropping most, I guess. It was needed and necessary and has helped me in a very little way..called better sleep.

You're the best...


Shadow said...

my sister (sober for many many years, much more than me) also takes anti-depressants. she wanted to go off them, sank down again, resumed them, and well, like her doctor says: if they work, have no side-effects, and keep you well, why stop taking them...

i tried about 3 different ones. they had no effect. and i mean NONE. so i stopped them. and i'm still the same. i get blue, teary, sad sometimes, buuuut then i figure out what's bothering me and it goes away again. guess i'm lucky in that regard.

i say: do what works for you!

TraceyBaby said...

Aaaahhhh, so refreshing to see a man not in denial about his depression.

This, my dear, Stevie Baby, is my expertise although I never speak of it! I have dealt with depression here and there through the years and married a couple of guys who have also. Of course, it is also part of the bipolar disorder that the boys have.

Bummer on the anti-depressants is weight gain for women and sexual side effects for men and women but luckily they have so many to try from nowadays.

Anti-depressants are good for so many things: OCD, Bipolar, Panic attacks, etc.

Lou said...

Thanks for your honesty. You are so right in doing what you need to.
I, for one don't want to see the big guy cry! My anti depressant is my running, but I know it's not for everyone. During all this with our son, my husband took an anti depressant for several years. After a time he stopped, but it got him over a very rough spot.

Zane-nawwaa said...

Thanks Steverino. I've been on anti depressants for 17 years and have declared myself well a few times and stop them gradually. Then wham, hell breaks loose. I know what I have to do, may not like it, but the alternative is UGLY. You say it so well with a bit of humor.

Anonymous said...

Well said, dear friend.

Mary Christine said...

We all have our own stories... ever evolving stories.

PATRICK said...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
LSD Cure for Alcoholism?
Did Bill W take LSD?
3D representation of an LSD molecule.

Wasn't LSD touted as a Cure for Alcoholism during the '60s? I cannot say that I saw God but it definitely put the Fear into me...

Yes. In the fifties LSD had not become a scourge. It was just another experimental drug - and it was looked at as having a possible role in treating alcoholism. Bill Wilson and his wife Lois participated with the US Government (the military I believe, not sure) in controlled experiments themselves. Of course they had no idea that the masses were going to grab and run with it and start synthesizing it in basements for its hallucinogenic producing abilities and then turn it into a major abused street drug of the next decade.

Initial studies indicated that something like fifty percent of all alcoholic subjects were “cured” with a single dose. These claims have been substantiated, but the DEA put LSD on it’s “badie” list in 1970 (Schedule I) and the research for uses of LSD were stopped.

Bill Wilson - who’s obsession to drink even though he could not metabolize EtOH properly which resulted in an uncontrollable craving for more EtOH had been completely removed as the result of a drastic spiritual experience that he had - saw the mind bending experience that LSD produced as possibly being spiritual in nature. His own dosing during the studies resulted in what his untrained brain had determined were indeed possibly “spiritual” in nature that if it were so, then LSD ought to be looked at as a way to ‘force’ a spiritual awakening of the kind that might remove the desire to drink. Many years later now we generally don’t consider LSD induced “spiritual awakenings” to be genuine. But hey, they didn’t know back then. Or did they? HMMM. :)


Danny S

By Danny S at 9:42 AM 20 Ask A QUESTION HERE

Syd said...

I've taken antidepressants for a few years. It has helped even me out. I'm not going through the ups and downs as I once did. I still have some moments of sadness but know what to do to get out of that state. I go to a meeting and that works. Glad that you are happy and not sad now.