Greenville, SC - 2018/01/15

Carole: I read a devotion not too long ago that said God has the day planned out, and I should look toward the day with expectation, and I usually don’t. A lot of times I look to it with dread. My mornings are a really bad time, but as the day goes on I feel better.

I believe that the biggest part of my addiction is mental illness. In the [Big Book of AA] it says some of us are on the depressive side, and, well . . . I am depressed. It runs in my family. I’m aware of it now. I do something about it, but that chemical composition of my brain keeps me waking up and dreading the day. A couple of years ago I got really depressed and I was constantly thinking of how to die, wanting to die and that prompted me to go on medication.

I take an antidepressant and when I finally feel better I want to stop. I don’t want to be on this medication. I don’t really agree with these pharmaceutical meds that alter your brain. But it keeps me from wanting to die. The people in AA  help, and my higher power, who is Jesus Christ, certainly is with me, and I can go to him at any time.

BW: When did the depression start? 

Carole: I believe as a child. I’m one of four children, and I was the second one, and me and my middle brother just have a terrible battle with it. I think I was always depressed.

BW: Were there any events that happened?

Carole: Yes . . . It’s tough to even talk about, but I was abused when I was very young. I was around four. I was still living in Manhattan. There was a boy who worked with my father. He and my father had fruit and vegetable stores. He molested me.

I was crying all day, and my mother knew something was wrong. She called my father. He came home with this boy, and they were telling me over and over again, “He only kissed you, he only kissed you.” So, I learned that I couldn’t even trust my parents.

I did not think of it until I was sober, maybe 10 years. My sponsor was talking about her abuse. That’s when I remembered him. 

BW:  What is it like when you’re really going through a tough time?

Carole: It’s a terrible place to be. It really is. I remember once, my son was six years old. He came home from school and put his arms around me. I remember forcing myself to hug this kid and show some love, and I didn’t want to love him. I didn’t want to hug him. My son was my joy, my gosh. 

It’s a weight. It’s heavy. It has kept me from doing things, socializing with people, going out. Today when I’m around a lot of people and interacting with people, afterward, I’m exhausted. 

My father committed suicide. I know what a profound effect it had on me and my siblings. I was 21. I had just gotten married. He went into the garage and asphyxiated himself.

BW: Was he clinically depressed?

Carole: Yeah, and drinking. I believe he drank because he was so depressed.  At first, it does help. It helped me. I say that drinking really saved my life, or helped me so much in my teen years and into maybe 22, 23. Then . . . I just kept trying. I wanted it to help me again. 

But it didn’t. I’ve been sober for 12 years. I truly just live a day at a time.

Paul - The Power of Storytelling

Paul - The Power of Storytelling