Well by Alias In Town
The bonds of sleep slowly slid off my body, and I could finally stretch out my legs. I yawned and
rubbed my eyes. My morning breath was awful. The strong smell of alcohol hit my nostrils, and the heat of anger flooded my body. I was alive! Damnit! I was still alive! WHY! My 12 page suicide
note was still attached to the bedroom door. The empty Klonopin bottle was still on the nightstand. A 1⁄2 liter of 100 proof liquor sat on the floor. The other half I had used to wash the pills down. I should be dead.
DAMN! I kept saying in my head. I don’t usually swear, but I figured I already tried to kill myself, so
to hell with it.
I pickled my brain in a bath of 100 proof alcohol which I secretly drank daily for about two years. In
my desperation for relief, I’d followed the advice of an internet stranger who recommended alcohol to take away the vertigo. Yes. One shot did. But soon one shot wasn’t enough. I needed two, then more and more. The escape was glorious. Soon, instead of just using it for vertigo, I was using all the time just to escape my illness, my reality, my depression, and the struggle I was having for identity, feelings of failure, and utter loneliness.
It wasn’t just the alcohol, either. I had figured out ways of getting my hands on prescription pain
pills. They also took away the vertigo, but even better, they numbed everything. Oh, I was such a
mess! That is exactly where really bad coping strategies can land you, given enough time and
energy. Limited solutions, taken to their extreme, took me to a hopeless destination -- The End.
The end of myself.
I was filled to the brim with anger that I was still alive. I was still here. I was still sick. I was still
useless. I was still a burden. I was still without hope. I was still lost. I was still helpless. Still...
My story didn’t end here. In fact today I say , “I am well.” My memoir, Well, chronicles my journey
toward healing. When I came home from treatment, I started pouring over old journals and found
entries where I sought forgiveness, healing and deliverance. I gathered them up into a scrapbook. I also added original artwork telling my story through the end of a paintbrush. I dug through my
blog, and gathered essays into the scrapbook too. I realized this scrapbook had become something. It had become a vulnerable and raw memoir telling a story of hope.
Depression and addiction are often taboo topics in the church. However, Christians are just as
susceptible to depression and addiction as any other social group. Christians who suffer from these afflictions often don’t seek help because of shame and fear of alienation. For a depressed Christian or a Christ follower with an addiction, seeking help feels like shining a spotlight into their spiritual life and highlighting a failure as a Christian.
There are many hurting Christians in desperate need of help, and it is common to feel like you have nowhere to turn. I am very passionate about this topic because I am one of those Christians. I live with depression, and I’m in recovery for addiction and attempted suicide. I also have a chronic
illness. I pray daily that my story of survival can help someone survive as well.