I want to write an article about self-destruction. Specifically, its relationship to depression and anxiety. I want to tell you about what it feels like to self-destruct.
When you’re healthy, you understand the different between drinking and getting drunk. And you approach both with a certain sense of understanding.
When you’re unhealthy, it happens slowly. It starts the same way every evening starts for you. With a glass of wine, two glasses, three. Once you’re satisfied, you stop. One day, you reach that point and think – ‘one more won’t kill me’ and you do it. The next time, you think ‘one more and ill be able to make conversation’. The time after that, you think ‘one more and ill be myself’. At this stage you’ve had seven, eight drinks. The time after that you’re at eight, nine drinks and convincing everyone around you that you’ve had three, four max. You don’t feel good about yourself, but that’s a very normal feeling. That’s a very “I’m used to it” feeling. You have a couple more. The next thing you know, you’re waking up.
Not with anyone. Not with any huge mistakes. Thank god. Because you know, if you ever did, that would be the point at which you’d stop.
The next time, it’s the same, but you’re sending text messages that call out for help. Maybe not literally, but you’d regret them in the morning, and you know you’d never send them sober.
The time after that, you spot someone across the bar. You think: maybe this is what I’ve been missing. This is what I’ve been holding out on. So you let them buy you a drink. Put their hand on your leg. Up your skirt. Take you home.
You’re drunk, it’s fine. You want it.
But the thing is, you don’t remember anything else in the morning.
Eventually, you’re getting drunk to get obliterated. You’re getting drunk to fuck anyone. All you want is to be wanted. You’re getting drunk so that you have the courage to make conversation with anyone; be they a friend or a stranger. You’re drinking so that you can have the power to say yes to whatever comes your way. No matter if it’s good or sexy or friendly. All you want is to be wanted. At that point you sacrifice any standards you previously had. Next up is sacrificing any current relationships you might still have (this, I’m particularly good at)
You message them obscene things so that they have no choice but to shut you down. All you want is to be wanted.
Finally, you black out so hard and so repeatedly that your friends and loved ones have no choice but to distance themselves from you.
The next stop is serious self-harm (because, let’s be clear, self harm has already happened)
Next, you’re seeking it out- harm. Because you’ve forgotten what it is to feel… to feel anything. So you’d rather be fucked by a stranger and feel something than anything else.
Lastly, you’ll sabotage the very last of your friends. You’ll put them in situations that they have no choice but to cut you out of. Because that’s what you’d do. That’s what you have to do.
And you’re not hurt. You’re not satisfied, but you’re not hurt. You feel satiated. You feel justified. You feel like you’re finally at peace.
But you’re not. You’re depressed. That’s what’s happening to your brain. You’re totally in denial. But what’s happening is that your brain is shutting down in areas you never knew it was even active in.
Before long, your behavior has been so depressing, so cruel, and so fucking hurtful, that every single one of your friends has left: as they should have.
And as you realize, and look around, you see that everyone is gone. That you have pushed them out. That it is on you. That it is on YOU. That it is you that has done this.
I wish this wrapped up well, and that I could tell you I’m now in a stable relationship, and feel supported, and love myself.
But I’m not. And I might not ever be. But I am trying. I am medicated. I am trying. Hard. To be the person I want to be. To be the person my friends and family deserve.
I want to dedicate this post to J who was the first person to identify my drinking as self-medication. It is thanks to him that I am seeking help.