Free Falling Fear 24x7
me- December 2009
Like the old question: "Which came first the chicken or the egg"?
Which came first for me: Was it the depression or the emotional havoc that I was raised in?
I am one of 8 siblings. I grew up in the Bronx, New York, in a 2 bedroom apartment with a very physically and emotionally abusive father who was an alcoholic.
Maybe my environment caused my depression but many years ago I decided I wasn't going to spend anymore wasteful time figuring it out. I knew something was wrong with how I was viewing the world. I was terribly frightened all the time as a young girl; a feeling of being disconnected from people which manifested itself physically as tremors in my hands and involuntary facial ticks.
I literally felt as though I was slowly disintegrating inside; that I was falling from the sky with no parachute. I was too young to know the words to label what these feelings were like and too young to understand that I was medically depressed.
The more I tried to suppress my 'facial ticks', the worst it got. Then I found a (temporary and deadly) cure that would actually slow down the racing thoughts in my head, the endless fear of living, and YAHOO; yes; a way to actually stop the unpredictable physical ticks and tremors and it was alcohol.
So, by the time I was 13 or 14 years old, I would secretly drink whatever I could steal or get from my friends. I used alcohol secretively and hardly ever drank in the presence of other people; only when I was already 'sedated', was I able to go out and pretend to be social and norma, which was hardly ever. I expereinced blackouts almost immediately whenever I drank whether I drank one glass of wine or 4 beers on an empty stomach.
I also used cough medicine once I found that it would slow down the shakes and ticks and stage fright. Self-medication for self-existing.
Oh yes, I cannot forget or minimize the loneliness and despair of feeling worthless, doomed, and trapped. But by the time I was old enough to tell a doctor about my depression, I was in my late teens and then I was told I was depressed because "my brother just died". Then 2 years later, I was told I was depressed because my 'dad died'. Well, this went on-and-on that every year there was some external loss that was causing my depression and my alcoholic drinking. I was prescribed Melleral, Thorozine, you name it, and I was given it.
I agree. Losing 4 siblings and a parent, all from either abusive use of alcohol or drugs may have enhanced my depression but I know that they must have been battling and self-medicating their depression (also) to go that far down in the depths of sadness, isolation, loneliness, and self-loathing.
I have been sober 23 years now and I have 2 beautiful, bright children in college who have never known their mom to ever drink alcohol and a wonderful husband (I don?t know how he stayed with me!) but I have to be very candidly honest and say I have been battling depression, anxiety, PSTD and to top it off with ADHD throughout my years of sobriety, hoping and praying that it will subside.
Recently (the last 6 months) I finally went to my new family doctor (my doctor for many years has recently retired!) and shared with him that I wanted to come off the Effexor anti-depressant because it was not helping me anymore; in fact my depression was at an all time bottom-of-the-pit-darkness and I was ready to hang it up.
Basically, I was not emotionally well at all; waking up with suicidal thoughts everyday and then the same thoughts randomly haunting me throughout the day, coupled with an overwhelming sense of helplessness and ironically a fear of living with a devastatingly fear of dying.
I showed my Doctor a five month plan that I found on WebMD on how I could go about 'tapering off' the Effexor antidepressant . He agreed to work with me to wean off of it as long as I committed to checking in with him at least once a week for the next several months.
The withdrawals from the antidepressant were like nothing I can ever describe in words ? HORRIFIC!
I am willing to go to any lengths to stay sober and I am willing to go to any lengths to find an alternative for my depression.
Can this plan that you are sharing with me, actually help folks like me?
Hi Margaret, thank you for sharing. I believe this plan can help you, but DON'T try it without your doctor's consent and guidance.
If you don't have one already, find a mentor or counselor to help you walk through your empty emotional tank. “People can live weeks without food, days without water, minutes without oxygen, but not a moment without hope.” Walking through past pain is so difficult. Here's a woman's story of despair turning into hope... The website I've linked you to also has free online mentoring if you'd like to walk with someone through this online. :)
There is hope!
Merri Ellen :)