I can handle my drinking and I’m not an alcoholic, but several doctors, psychiatrists and an addiction counsellor have told me that medicating myself with alcohol is a bad idea. Of course, the problem is that it works. I suppose that one of the things that grown-ups have to do (if they don’t want to end up as dead grown-ups) is to pick the most holistically effective solution rather than the easiest one. And the bigger the problem (or perceived problem), the harder that is to do. So for me depression leads to drinking, which leads to more depression, which leads to more drinking.
Again annoyingly, drinking has its benefits. I’m not talking about the health benefits of drinking x glasses of red wine per week, in fact I can’t drink red wine as even the smell of it gives me an instant headache. No, I am referring to the banishment of social anxiety. I recently realized that I have only ever been able to talk to new people at pubs/bars/clubs while under the influence of some substance (be it alcohol, ecstasy, ghb or whatever). So now I am torn between going out sober and trying to talk to people (and also having to witness the late-night drunken rowdiness sober), or drinking to socialize and risking getting a big depression hit the following day.
The next day thing is something I noticed recently. If I had even one drink in the evening, around 5pm the next day I’d just suddenly get really depressed. Probably an 8/10 on my depression scale, from maybe a 6-7 earlier in the day. When I noticed that, I had to stop drinking completely. I can’t help feeling that it’s slightly unfair, as someone with social anxiety and a lot of shyness, that I now can’t drink either. Forward match.com!