At this point it had been a few months since my struggle began at NC State. The depression hit me like a semi and the anxiety railroaded my entire being. I was constantly telling myself I needed to just suck it up. I’d feel good about that thought for a few minutes and then I’d find myself on the verge of tears. It went back and forth like that all day, every day.
One day, after feeling so defeated and unsure of how long I’d be going through this, I just said fuck it. I started drinking.
I started early in the day. I don't remember when exactly. My wife stopped me as I was chugging a bottle of whiskey in the kitchen. She had to grab it from me and yell at me, asking me what the hell I was doing.
I don't remember much of that night. I was out of it. I was so tired of it all. I make mistakes like everyone else, but this was different. I wasn't thinking clearly prior to the alcohol. Yes, I was depressed, utterly anxious, but I felt something else. For a split second I felt like drinking was the answer. In that moment I thought a drink or two would dull the anxiety, that feeling in my chest, and the million negative thoughts in my head." Another second later I was happy. It felt good to toss the fight aside. The mistake was trading it for alcohol. I knew this, but two drinks turned into a lot more.
This particular day I thought about everyone I loved. I kept thinking, "them or me". I'm a failure. I let them down. How would I ever fix this? How could I put Sarah through this? My heart ached because as much as I wanted to live, I wanted it all to be over.
At this point I was on a couple of medications. I wasn't yet at the point where I found "the one". My psychiatrist and I were still experimenting. I never even considered what drinking while on meds would do to me. It wasn't good.
What happens next is an experience that Sarah and I have had to heal from. I wish I could go back in time and delete it from our history. We've talked about it a lot. I couldn't remember what happened. Sarah had to fill me in. She had to explain to me how I acted, what I did, and what I said. Per her recollection here are some details:
At some point in the evening I became violent. I kicked two holes in the wall, damaged the linen closet door, fell on my laundry basket, and hurt my wife. As Sarah tells it, I inadvertently punched and or kicked her as she attempted to restrain me. I said hurtful things to her. My wife, the love of my life. I did those things.
My wife made the call to my psychiatrist. Being a Saturday, she had to leave a message on the emergency line...my psychiatrist called back within two minutes! He told her to take me to Holly Hill Hospital. Holly Hill provides treatment for psychiatric conditions and substance abuse for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.
Sarah had to restrain me, get me into the car, and manage to drive half an hour on the freeway to the ER, hoping that I wouldn’t steer us off the road. Before she could even leave the driveway I had already torn off the visors and rear-view mirror, and cracked my windshield.
This experience has been the worst of my 36 years. This is only half of it.
My call for help, in next week's post.
Dear Friends & Family,
If you know me, you know me not for this ugly side. You know the best of me, the positive stuff. I'm sorry if you're reading this and you're not sure what to think. It's OK. I'm still me I'm doing fine. I'm here, lucky enough to have your support.
I just want all people to learn and grow together.