Sobriety & Isolation

I began this writing a few weeks ago and have filled it in to update. 

Finally, I was able to speak to a VA counselor this week, and one of the first things I told her was a brief summary of Worst VA Doctor Experience. (The following day, I received a phone call informing me of my new primary care physician.) During the counselor’s standard questioning, she determined I scored much lower on anxiety than previously (thanks to medical marijuana!) and very high on depression. We discussed how my physical conditions limiting me affects depression, one thing spiraling into another. In the meantime, I’m just sitting in limbo with unknown health conditions or solutions that make my life hell.

A few things have changed since originally writing this: I have to see an immunologist, because I have an immune deficiency which appears to be genetic. This would explain why I’m always prone to upper respiratory and digestive issues. Since I am feeling slightly better physically, I managed to get out of the house three days in a row, which is more days in a row since June. I’ve been exhausted ever since. 

As I feel better physically, my thinking is clearer, and I am feeling better mentally. But that can sometimes change, because of my physical symptoms.

However, things are constantly changing. 

Some lab results went to my negligent, abusive previous doctor. She signed the results last Friday without ever bothering to inform me that I have E. coli, which could potentially kill me if left untreated, especially with having an immune deficiency and GI issues. I discovered this on my own while looking at medical records over the weekend. Otherwise, I believe no one would have ever informed me. I didn’t even receive a letter, which is standard procedure. 

What’s worse is knowing that the VA will do nothing about this horrible ratched doctor, and she will continue to work with veterans without a care in the world about what actually happens to them. 

I’ve created my own safe world within my four walls. 

While I still do very much enjoy one-on-one company or a few friends at a small gathering, it’s rare. Solitude has taught me who I can trust and call a friend, and I’m happy to say I do still have some. But not all of them are good listeners, which makes it difficult for me to want to be with. Being as isolated as I’ve been, when I’m around other people, I would like to talk. It’s the only chance I get. 

People annoy me when drinking, so I’m becoming more and more selective about who I choose to spend time. Three or four times this year, I have attempted spending time with friends who ended up too wasted to even have a conversation. While I’m pretty sure these things happened when I was drinking, the alcohol helped to tolerate and forget about it. Now I have zero tolerance, and I’m not forgetting. 

Maybe I was expecting too much from sobriety, but one thing for certain is expecting to feel better, at least happier. 

I feel worse physically than I ever have, and being unable to live a normal life just sucks all the way around. Perhaps once these undiagnosed health issues are resolved, I’ll be able to fully encompass the feeling of sobriety. In the meantime, I’m fucking miserable and stuck, unable to make my life any better. I can only try my best to make myself comfortable – which is literally a job in itself. I spend most days dealing with these issues for hours, making accomplishing things nearly impossible. 

Spending enough time in solitude without any influences, especially eliminating or drastically reducing time on social media, forces me do a lot of thinking. Too much thinking. 

I’m attempting to put these anxious thoughts onto paper, but sometimes it’s a slow process. Hence, the reason why it took three weeks to write this. Most times, my thoughts come when I can’t stop and write them down – like when I’m cleaning or driving. When everything and everyone else around me is turned off, the realization that my mind doesn’t ever stop is exhausting, and so I drown out my brain with tv as background noise or music so I don’t have to listen.

Although I’m alone, sometimes my neighbors annoy me by being too close. Particularly when I’m working on something, having someone piddling around me is a distraction that can set me back or completely wipe out of the creative zone. This happens so often lately, I’ve been hiding inside with the blinds shut just so I can concentrate. But often, it’s too late, and my creative zone is gone for the moment. 

Part of depression comes with knowing reality sucks. 

Working through emotional pain can be an excruciating process during sobriety. It’s uncomfortable. Alternatively, seeing what alcohol blinded me from, how bad my decisions were, when it came to allowing people in my life that I would never have given the time of day otherwise. Now I see that even two drinks clouded my judgement and lowered my inhibitions. 

And now I must live with those mistakes, but I am haunted by them. Some of those mistakes have been resurfacing lately. 

11 Comments »

  1. 10.5 months sober myself, and broke my hip at month 4. That’s why I’m here. Writing about it is therapeutic, as you well know. What I’ve learned over the last year is that pain, anxiety, depression, joy, happiness, all these feelings come and go. Some are harder to handle than others, but they always pass and weave in and out of one another. At this point, waiting for surgery 6 this year, and hopefully the last, I’m just trying to be comfortable in “survival mode.” Sometimes that’s all we can do. Survive. I just try to keep the faith that someday survive will turn into thrive. Also, I share some of the same feelings you do about sobriety. Sometimes it’s hard AF to be AF, but the alternative just isn’t worth it. Just my opinion. Good luck.

    • Thanks for sharing. Being sick and/or injured certainly puts a damper on moods. Feelings come and go, but my goal is to feel better more days than not. Hoping once my body is healed, that will be possible.

  2. I’m now sober for 1 year and it hasn’t been easy. I also suffer from depression and I do write about it. Many people don’t understand just how hard it is to do both at the same time in addition to trying to do life as well. Hang in there, I can’t tell you it’s going to get better. Because sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s getting better. You literally take things one second at a time.

  3. Oh yeah, it’s normal to expect to feel better during sobriety. I myself don’t feel that much different, to be honest, so I’ve turned it into a game of battling against myself. The goal is to see if my bad side or good side wins, and that’s a much more fulfilling way of approaching sobriety, at least for me. Wishing you all the best!

  4. My husband is sober and it can be very lonely. He told me going sober has been one of the best decisions of his life even if days are hard. Stick with it we support you! I wish you best in finding out what is going on in your body.

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