Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Man, I am just tired. I had a bit of a meltdown at work yesterday. The nearly intolerable level of stress at work has gone on since November, and I am just really, really tired of it. The stress of the decimation of my daughter's life is an ever present sadness and worry. I am physically tired from running a race on Sunday for which I was not fully trained.

I went to a meeting yesterday on my way to work and the topic was taking psychotropic meds. Things sure have changed since 1984 when I got sober. Back then, the general consensus in AA was that you should avoid any medication that was "mood altering". Well, that was probably a bit rigid. I think about that when I take my estrogen tablet daily - that is one of the most mood altering chemicals I have ever used, but I am not likely to stop. But I digress.... In 2008, at a meeting on April 6, the consensus was "take 'em if you need 'em." Generally, I agree. BUT, if you are newly sober, how do you know you really need them? Isn't the process of hitting an alcoholic bottom and then making the gigantic leap into sobriety enough to make anyone a little bit nuts?

Can we not tolerate even a few moments of feeling bad? Isn't it kind of necessary for growth?

This is coming from a woman who has suffered from Major Depression. I have taken medications for this. I do not take any currently, thank God. I waited until I was sober 10 years before taking medication, and although that may sound extreme, I am glad I did.

I better get ready for work. If there was any way to get away with it, I would call in sick... but I can't. There is a consultant coming in today and I have to spend the day with her. I really, really, really don't want to do this.


Pam said...

We MUST come up with a plan to be able to quit work girl!
I'm thinking....stay alive until retirement.
However, I'd like to retire now.
Hang on little Vidalia Onion.

Scott W said...

Remember how much our thoughts affect our experience of life. Sometimes we have to fake it until our mind lets us experience life differently. Maybe that is the only way to make it through this tough time. I understand that is easier said than done. Just thought I would mention it.

Also, what advise would you give a sponsee that is having the same pressures you describe? Are you doing what you would suggest to another?

Sending love and serenity your way today.

Kathy Lynne said...

My sponser says when I really, really, really don't want to do something I have to do it. Returning an oltimers own advice:) right back at them.

Anyway, I have the opposite, I've been on antidepressants for five years and am scared to go off because I don't want to upset the balance that they bring me. But as my sobriety strengthens so does my confidence that I can do without them. Or at least see if I can. And if I can't at least I'll know it's me that needs them and not the me that alcohol brings out.

Syd said...

I think that taking meds would depend on the illness--mental illness isn't much to fool around with. Bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression are all caused by problems with neurotransmittors. I believe in medication when necessary and prescribed.

Zane-nawwaa said...

I worry about you. Sunday's upset stomache and the fact that it was releived with saltines makes me wonder if you have ever had a glucose tolerance test. I finally caved to get one and found I was diabetic. I was constantly tired also. But then maybe you're not.
Just passing information. Take care of yourself. I love the way you suit up and show up.

Bill said...

Congratulations on finishing that marathon. I'm quite impressed.

Unless I read the BB wrong, we are told to follow the advice of trusted doctors. I'm certainly not qualified to tell anyone what they should or should not be taking as far as prescribed drugs. Personally, I do not take any, and I am glad I no longer take anti-depressants. Coming off of them was a challenge.
I agree with Syd. I know of a woman whose women's group members encouraged her to stop taking her meds for bi-polar disorder. She did and she relapsed, and it was not pretty. AA's should stick to helping other alcoholics stay sober.
The key, of course, is finding a the right doctor, and being completely honest with them about addiction problems.

Mocha Coffee said...

Sorry to hear work is so stressful, I used to do such a job, I am not in that job anymore but my home is rented out and I live with my folks now so I suppose there is something to be said for staying in the rat race.

Good on you for keeping such a lovely home and trying to live a full life outside of work.

I hope to enter further education in about a year or so, I am just repairing the financial damage of my last relationship and restoring my health and "super powers" for this next year.

Sorry to hear about the decimation of your daughter's life, is she ill or something? I glanced through your blog a bit, looks like NA or something.

You be careful and hang on in there chuck, I was at my mental and physical peak in October last year, I did what I always did and took on too much and now here I am again! I don't know if this is true of all alcoholics (I keep trying to find common factors) but perhaps we are so busy trying to be all things to all people that we don't see the break or the fall coming.

Personally, I think saying no to people can be a good thing!

As regards the running, doing enough for body and soul is a good thing, just don't push yourself too hard unless you like that sort of thing! I always run alone, never in a competition, I do not like inflicting scheduled events on myself unless absolutely necessary.

Regarding medication, I think if one has never taken anti-depressants that they should not be prescribed as an antidote to alcoholism or any addiction. However I would say that if a person is displaying semi-catatonia, lethargy or even self-harming behaviours that this is ok.

You are so right that feeling bad is necessary for growth, it instills terrible memories of pain which remind us of where we do not want to be or ever go again.

I myself am on medication, although I have not been depressed for at least 5 years. My definition of depression is being housebound and in total despair and fear of the outside world (which I was). Prior to my recent relapse I have to say that continued use of medication is a good thing. I exercise, so this plus the medicated serotonin rise served to always keep me pretty buoyant. I do plan to come off medication, however I think now is the wrong time so close to a relapse.

I really admire you for forcing yourself to go to work when you don't want to. Being pragmatic will keep you in the lifestyle you enjoy.

It's only work, and if we keep work separate from the rest of our lives, it is easier to handle.

Mocha xxx