Today I had an appointment with my GP. The last time I saw her was about six weeks ago, when I was coming up to four weeks sober.
When I was in the waiting room I was thinking about all the things I needed to speak to her about. In the past I have generally seen her every week or so usually because of anxiety and depression, to let her know how I am getting on. Over the past 18 months I have tried a lot of different medication combinations. Increasing this dose, decreasing that, adding something on, adding something else on to the add-on, taking it off …and on and on and on.
Over that time I have also seen three psychiatrists and two therapists. No one could understand why the drugs I was taking were apparently having little or no effect. Two of the psychiatrists and one therapist asked me about my drinking and I lied to them. I did the same with my GP. I did have one appointment when I tried to ask for help by saying I needed to talk about my drinking. The psych replied ” well what do you want me to do ? Send you to rehab ?”. Looking back I should have said yes but I just shut up and put up…for another year.
The others didn’t even ask me how much I drank and if they had, I wouldn’t have told them the truth.
I had a feeling that my drinking might be stopping the drugs from working properly. No, that’s a lie. I knew that was what was happening. I also knew that using alcohol alongside the sleeping pills and diazepam which I was prescribed for “occasional” use would increase their effect and take me into oblivion if I didn’t have enough wine or if it just wasn’t hitting the spot. I would save those drugs for a little treat when I really deserved it.
I eventually shared the truth about my drinking with my GP when I had referred myself to my local addiction service. She seemed genuinely surprised, particularly when she suggested that in time I would be able to drink”normally” and I said I couldn’t just have one drink so I needed to stop completely.
I feel a bit sorry for my GP. When she sees me on her list of appointments she must wonder what kind of state I am going to be in, what latest emotional turmoil I am going through.
Today though was good. She asked me how things were going and I couldn’t stop talking. I realised I had so much to share and I felt excitement about telling her my news “Today is day 69, I feel much better, my job is going well, I’ve been chosen to do a big project, I just finished a course on alcohol and addiction and I’ve started a blog”. I almost forgot to breathe !
I feel so much better than I did when I was drinking. My medication is working better, I am no longer sabotaging my health and I suppose put most simply, I feel like “me”again. I’d forgotten who I was but now I’m back and it feels good.