Depression, stress, loneliness, alcohol

Still trying to keep up with the blog. This time I'll write something personal rather than about politics.

I don't suffer from severe depression, but from time to time I get a bit depressed, stressed or lonely. Again, I wouldn't say my life is particularly stressful or lonely, compared to many people who have much harder lives, but I do experience these feelings sometimes, like many others, I think.

When this happens, because of my background and the particular culture I grew up in, I often tend to turn to alcohol to cheer myself up. I don't think there's anything wrong with having a drink or a couple of drinks, but when I'm drinking in those situations, I quite often drink more than that, to the extent it probably affects my health. I'm pretty healthy, but could be more so. It has at times also affected my relationships with other people, mainly through getting into arguments that are more angry or rude than I would ideally like them to be.

It's something I'm trying to fix, and I have certainly had long periods of only moderate drinking, and shorter periods of complete abstinence (eg Febfast or Dry July). But I still seem to lapse from time to time. I'm writing about this because I think it's something that's maybe not discussed enough and because I think it's good to be honest about it.

I know there are risks in being honest, such as my experience with a person on a blog who moreorless accused me of being a habitual drunk and an academic fraud, because I'd acknowledged that I occasionally commented after having a few wines, and once when commenting admitted that I hadn't read the whole original post. These were separate things, not connected - ie I wasn't ever saying that I habitually got drunk and made comments without reading entire posts, and I wasn't doing it either. But that's the implication he suggested, and not only that, he also suggested that I wasn't reading the articles I was citing in my thesis (that's all on the basis that I once acknowledged that I hadn't read an entire blog post before I asked a question about it). Yes, he was a particularly unpleasant character, but he was allowed by the blog host to say such things about me. I'm pretty sure there was also sexism operating in this whole situation, which I will probably write more about some time, but either way it does show some of the risks of being honest in public. However I think it's valuable nevertheless.

I might try to document my progress on this sometimes.

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