My sister has me detoxing at the moment and I’m feeling a whole lot better than in recent months. I’ve had recent issues with mental health and have been on antidepressants. I stopped taking Sertraline in February because I was feeling dopey and tired all the time, and the thoughts of writing anything would make me want to take a nap. I expressed my concerns to the doctor who asked me to meet with a counsellor, not for the first time.
‘But I haven’t been through any trauma, I’d just be wasting her time’ I said.
‘If you feel like your life is unmanageable and you need medication, I’d consider that a good enough reason to see one’ she replied.
I let her print off all the information while making a mental note not to seek talky-help. I’d seen a psychiatrist in my early twenties for self harming and I felt like an eejit sitting in front of him and contemplated concocting a traumatic story for his entertainment.
I coerced the doctor into a different prescription… this time for Lexapro. I filled the prescription immediately but something made me sit on it (not literally) for two weeks. Then after another bout of unexplained crying I started to take it.
I have put on over a stone in the last year and while out last Saturday night I felt like a whale as I tucked my back fat into my once loose dress. The next day I visited my sister who has been through the mill recently and has come out the other side like a guru…or Yoda.
I sat on her couch and cried that I felt shite and tired and weepy all the time and I was beginning to bore myself.
She asked me tentatively what medications I’d had in the last 24 hours including alcohol…I answered…(and please be aware that I’d been out at a dinner dance…excuses, excuses)
‘2 beers, 4 vodkas’.
‘And the tablets Aisling?’
‘A Lexapro, a sleeping tablet (the coke from the vodka had me awake!) and 2 Solpadeine the next day for a mild (imagined) hangover.’
‘Aisling…your fucking liver!!!’
So I have been clean all week of alcohol and medications (you didn’t think I meant a food detox?? NEVER!) I’m feeling good. I have cleaned the house to within an inch of it’s life, even making a trip to Ikea to get drawer storage to organise EVERY drawer in the house. I realise now that I had an addiction to codeine, even now as I type I would love to drop two of those bad boys into a glass of water and hear them fizz..I’ll make a Berocca instead. I am not an alcoholic but (famous last words) I am a wine-aholic. I adore white wine and could easily drink it every night and was possibly having a couple of glasses every second night for the last few months. I felt I deserved it after a day of rearing kids and it was something to look forward to but there is danger in those wine o’clock statuses.
What we are forgetting is the high percentage of alcohol in a glass and my feeling now is it is a drink that should be reserved for dinners out. Personally I’ll stick to a glass of red on those occasions as I could never drink more than two glasses.
More and more recently when I have had nights with friends over for wine, I would black out and wake up the next morning absolutely crippled with The Fear and unable to parent effectively for two days; I have made huge errors of judgement with alcohol in the past and every regret I have was fuelled by it.
The absolute last thing I would ever want my kids to experience is a drunken parent and so dear Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio I must bid you adieu…it’s been real…shite.
For the first time ever, I’m letting my sister take the wheel. She wants me clean for a month and then she’s going to help me with coping strategies when things become unmanageable…like meditation. I’m already thinking ‘bullshit, give me the drugs’ but that hasn’t been working too well for me so let’s see if a holistic (I puked a little in my mouth even typing that word) approach works.