Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nine Years

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I know the holidays can be stressful. Fortunately, my holidays have so far gone well. I just got home from spending Christmas with my boyfriend, D. We had a very nice time. I drove the four hour drive after working the morning of Christmas Eve, and then we left immediately to spend the evening with his entire, huge family. D has eight siblings and a seemingly unending supply of nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and grand nephews. It was confusing, controlled chaos, but I had fun.

Christmas morning was spent with D's son. We opened presents and ate their traditional brunch. The rest of the day D and I spent together. We relaxed, went for a walk with Jet, watched a movie, and cooked a nice dinner together. It was quiet, and I think we were both quite content with that. The rest of the weekend was equally simple and relaxing. It's always hard to leave, but I'm glad to be back in my home environment, nonetheless.

Today is a big day. Nine years ago today I finally got it. I took my last drink, and I've stayed sober one-day-at-a-time ever since. Nine's really quite amazing. Nine years ago I was a hopeless case. I was selfish, self-centered, and discontent. I had tried multiple times to stop drinking for good. Stopping wasn't the problem. I was actually pretty good at that. Staying stopped was the problem. It wasn't until I finally committed myself to the simple tools laid, multiple times, at my feet, and decided to focus on staying sober for 24 hours at a time that I got it.

I've grown a lot over the last 9 years. Being sober has opened my eyes and heart to whole new life, a life I never thought imaginable. I never knew how to be an equal in a relationship until I got sober. I never knew how to handle anger and resentments until I got sober. I never knew the meaning of gratitude and humility until I found sobriety. Sobriety brought me a relationship with my mother I was previously too immature to handle or appreciate. Being sober didn't cure my depression, but it certainly made a huge difference in my mental health stability. It's amazing how much better mental health medications work when I'm not washing them down with beer! Sobriety, in a nutshell, gave me a life worth living.

Nine years. I've had hurts and heartaches, joys and celebrations, good times and bad times, depression relapses and remissions, and I've remained sober through it all. It can be done. I'm doing it. And if I can do it, anyone can do it. It's a beautiful thing. I'm so grateful to be sober today.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Nine years, cool beans! Congrats and here is to one more day....blessing....j

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on this major accomplishment!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a fine and low-key holiday with your beau. Mine was as well with my wife and two of my sons.

Also, congratulations on your nine years. I know the day-by-day struggle because of my weight loss (140 pounds gone for good). I know the challenges and temptations you faced, at least from an eating perspective.

I've started Wellbutrin this week, and the doctor was (apparently intentionally) noncommittal about drinking beer while taking it. So now because I am too scared I'm not drinking the beer I grew up with. I know I'll live, but it's another challenge.

Hope your 2015 is great. Hope you get a lot of running in too.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your lessons learned on your journey.

Happy New Year, Etta!!

nyawela_soandso said...

Happy 9 year anniversary!