In my time assisting those troubled by alcohol I have been educated, and occasionally entertained, by the myriad of excuses that the masses proffer regarding their alcohol intake or why they felt that ‘just a couple’ could alleviate their angst.

I was first diagnosed with depression in 2002. Chest pains which went without recourse for several months had afflicted me with health anxiety and this, in turn, led to depression and a strange, and surreal, relative of the ‘Black Dog’ known as ‘depersonalisation’. Whilst there was some relief that there was an explanation for the profundity of my emotions, this reinforced through the offer of medication and counselling.  It was the advice of the doctor in dealing with the short term that has permanent residency in my memory.

The standard offer of CBT and anti-depressants came and went, but it was the advice he offered that I should ‘not drink alcohol’ which not only caused great consternation but temporarily compelled me to consider requesting having him struck off for such an outlandish proposition!  What? Stop drinking? Has he taken leave of his senses as he attempts to deal with mine?  I did not know this at the time and was bewildered that one suggestion for addressing my depression was to take away my ‘medicine’.  Of course, I can look back at such instinctive thoughts as my alcoholism.

Alcohol has a broad range of properties.  It is used to suppress angst, to compound celebratory feelings and the endless emotions between.  I can offer with the greatest confidence and conviction though, that excessive alcohol intake for the depressant and depressed is never likely to yield anything productive. It continues the erosion of the soul, it eats away at the self-esteem and self-worth that is often already in rapid decline and mentally assaults us to the point of the twin evils of helplessness and hopelessness.

I last consumed alcohol on June 12th, 2009. I have never suffered from depression since. My sympathy and solidarity is with those who have become all too familiar with the vast range of medication that is designed to recover the soul and spirit. I implore you to not conform to any idea that alcohol has the means to lift you from such poverty of the mind.

I have had the best seven years of my adult life. This owing to the humility to reach out and ask for help at a juncture where all the evidence dictated that I could not resolve such issues through my own will alone. I had tried to remedy the issue and illness with a breath-taking arrogance that I knew best. I had failed miserably and almost permanently.

Peace be with you, always.

Kieron Brady

Alcoholic always, depressed no more.