These last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions, to say the least. I have been in a severe depressive episode for the better part of a month now, and one that eventually led to my relapse. I have been off the wagon for over a week now. I detailed it in my vlog the day I decided to drink. I made it to nearly 6 years of sobriety and still thought it was a good idea to pick up a drink. I wish I could say I stopped at that one day, but it’s been an ongoing thing ever since. The scary part is I fell right back into so easily.
I had great pride in my sobriety and worked to keep it at the forefront of my everyday life, but when you have a dual diagnosis, it can be a very challenging feat to accomplish. My bipolar disorder got the best of me and I decided to self-medicate.
The day I decided to drink was the day I left work early because I was so depressed, the physical pain of the episode caused me to throw up twice at work and then once more when I got home. This was the peak of the depressive episode. Unfortunately, it culminated in my inability to keep my sobriety at the front of my mind. I was overwhelmed with emotion and physical pain and wanted to stop it. I wish I could say it didn’t work because maybe I would be sober right now, but it did work. It pushed all of that to the back and I was able to “relax” for the night. Granted I woke up knowing the severity of my decision.
Aside from the obvious embarrassment and humiliation, I feel from my own self, there is also the reactions I have gotten from others. I did shut the world off for about 4 days, only responding to a couple of people via text and only spending time with a couple of others. None of which I drank around, mind you. The people I spent time with understood what had happened. However, I did read all the other texts and listened to all the voicemails during that time. I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to them. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know where to begin to explain how incredibly selfish, weak, embarrassed and humiliated I felt for basically washing away everything I stood for all those years.
Some of these people are extremely upset with me for not responding to them during that time. Others were upset but happy to see me. Then there are those who took it as an intentional act against them that I picked up a drink and screwed up years of hard work. I know what you’re probably thinking, “well Ronnie they are upset for you and just wanted you to reach out.” I don’t disagree with that with some people, but there are the ones who seem inconvenienced by my struggle. Ones who only see how it affects them in a negative way. Not for my well-being, but for theirs. This lack of compassion, empathy, hell even sympathy is what has been hurting me the most this last few days. People who I thought were there for me, not just what I could do for them when I was sober.
I get that not everyone can understand what I am going through. It’s not always for everyone else to understand, but it does make a difference when someone wants to try and understand and is willing to work through it with me. This is my first relapse, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I didn’t expect such a stark contrast in attitudes and opinions of me. I thought my six years of sobriety prior would give enough benefit of the doubt that I could possibly be better than the person who went off the grid and drank himself into oblivion for a few days at the peak of a depressive episode.
But seeing that with some people the last few days has been eye-opening. I lost friends of course when I first went sober, but I didn’t expect to lose more after I relapsed. I see it as a blessing and a curse because I really trusted the ones who have shown me a different side of themselves, but I am learning who I can really place my trust in going forward.
I know it sounds weird to call it a refresh this early in my relapse, as I am still drinking, but I do see it as an opportunity to start anew. A chance to refresh myself just like a browser so I can download the most recent and pertinent information to move forward with. Although I can’t say I am sober yet, I can say that I do see where I was before I drank, and I see where I need to be once again. Knowing who to trust going forward is a big part of that refresh.
So, here is to a new day tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow will be the first day of my new sobriety. Until then, be patient with me. I’m hurting and need my friends the most right now. Just like I tried to be there for all of you during my sobriety.