As we continue to encourage each other to talk about our mental health it definitely does feel necessary for me to speak openly about issues I have faced, despite the fact it doesn’t always feel comfortable, so I’ve decided to try and create this blog as a safe space for myself and for others.
So here I am, terrified.
My ‘change’ began over 2 years ago, which reflected my personality spiralling completely into an oblivion I or anyone else could not have prepared for. I was basically naïve. How I describe depression is unless you’ve been there, you will never know a feeling quite like it. It’s almost indescribable.
As cliché as it sounds, it really does feel like a weight, a burden. It’s exhausting, and frustrating and it’s everything you never wanted yourself to become but at the exact same time your just helpless. Because you’re in this sink hole you’ve never been in before and you don’t understand it or how to get out of it, you just continue to sink. The one thing you’re certain of is once you do get out, you never want to go back.
For over a year I didn’t even realise I was depressed, but recently looking at photographs I can literally see where it started and where it ended. Only within this past year! My weight had increased, the clothes I was wearing, even to the way I was smiling in pictures, It’s just this auto pilot version of me which I don’t hate, but it feels like she put me through so much.
She coped by drinking constantly.
I think we were so dependant on alcohol within a couple of months, I know at my worst I would consume an estimate of 24 units of alcohol a night, not even a day it was just over a period of 4 hours maybe and this happened over 4 times a week, if not almost every other day. So if we did some quick maths, or longish maths because I’m actually useless at maths, this would be our overall intake.
The maths =
24 units in 4 hours, they’d usually be double vodkas. So 1 double Vodka is 2 units, (60 minutes in an hour in case you didn’t know) 24 divided by 2 units is 12.
So it would essentially be me drinking 3 doubles in an hour over 4 hours, not including shots or other drinks. But it never actually went like that, it would technically be me drinking as many double vodkas in the first hour as fast as I could to be numb as quickly as possible. So on average I would go out 4 times a week, and consume approx. 24 units a night, that means I would have been consuming 96 units a week over a period of 5 months.
96 units x4 weeks = 384
384 unitsx5 months = a lot of alcohol.
The funniest bit about it was, at the time this behaviour wasn’t unusual, because I was in my first year of university and alcohol is a huge part of the culture, what I was doing seemed like a normal thing, so it’s not like my drinking habits were seen as weird. Most people didn’t even recognise I was hurting or even had a problem. But the amount we were consuming was surpassing most of my friends. I was a mess and I would hate waking up and realising I wasn’t numb anymore and I’d have to repeat this process just to try and forgot the pain I was feeling.
It was the realisation that I’d wake up and know I didn’t feel any better despite how ‘happy’ I felt when I was out drinking.
Sadly I knew half of the time when i’d had enough but I would continue to drink until i’d eventually black out, where I would phase in and out of this paralytic state. So as soon as I go into a black out I can’t remember anything, but I can still walk and talk but it’s not actually me you’d be talking to; my eyes would be the biggest giveaway because they were completely lifeless.
I’m currently getting drunk, because it makes things easier, and I know it’s not the answer, but it’s an answer, and it’s the only one I have.
– William C. Hannan
For me this is how we coped, and I refer to myself as we just because at that time and at this time now we are different people. Or at least I recognise the differences within my own personality.
It has taken me all of this time to not only acknowledge the depression but to somehow try on my own to control my drinking habits. I still struggle so much. I was in denial for majority of the time I was depressed and struggled massively to even be open with myself, let alone anyone else at the time. For me half the time it was just having an argument with my conscience, because I was trapped and this other version of me had stepped in for the time being and she was a lazy m’fucker. All she ever really wanted to do was sleep constantly.
To avoid these kind of voids I can only advise please don’t drink to cope, I never thought I would. Go to the gym, pick up a hobby or do something you’ve always wanted to do. Get out of that comfort zone and try and physically push yourself.
I can admit that the first time you try to break this kind of thinking it’ll be the hardest thing you may ever do because it’s the scariest, you’ve got to be the one that goes against every feeling that is trying to possess you to do stay in this new comfort zone, but once you’ve got out of it the once, you know you can do It again.
For me I only managed all of this from getting up and going on that ski trip I had booked earlier on in the year, and somehow meeting; cue cheesy line, honestly some of the best people. (Apologies for the cliché) They did somehow accept me, and appreciated me more than I had myself for the last year and sometimes I wonder if they even know the affect they had, I related to these individuals and I learnt a lot about myself and them. And my mental state slowly started to improve, until I finally started to see a little bit of myself again.
Some of these feelings may relate to you, or they may not, it’s not here to be right or wrong or to tell you how you should be feeling. If you aren’t feeling yourself and it’s been for more than a couple of weeks or a couple of months or maybe even longer and if you’re reading this, contact me for a chat if you feel comfortable to.
Piste Out, Sammy x