This is a podcast where Gab and I talk women’s soccer just about every two weeks while — you got it — drinking.
But we've both been reaching for water instead lately, for our own separate reasons. Mine is that I’m not in the proper headspace at the moment to be drinking. Drinking should be fun, and it usually is for me. I’ve had enough booze over the years to know my limits and how to stop before I get sick, but after I’ve loosened up. When I drink for fun, I get very affectionate and find almost everything amusing. I do a great Abby Wambach impression and a bad Australian one when I'm buzzed. It’s a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
But shortly after Gab and I recorded our last episode, I spiraled into probably the worst depression of my life.
Depression is not something I regularly struggle with, as far as I’m aware. I had a rough time in college, but since then I’ve been on a pretty even keel. But for whatever reason, I got booted off the edge of the precipice and into a very, very dark hole.
During this time, I was incapable of feeling anything except an overwhelming hopelessness. Nothing interested me. Nothing made me feel anything else. I still functioned — woke up, brushed my teeth, did work, exercised, tried to eat right. It was all autopilot. If I smiled, it was a paper mask. I couldn’t sleep. Food was just fuel and all of it was unappetizing.
I made the mistake of drinking one night during this time. It didn’t make me feel better — I skipped right over the loosening-your-inhibitions stage of consuming a depressant and went right to the tired, sloppy stage. I talked to some good friends that night who were understanding and encouraging and didn’t judge me for having a hard time. They just offered their unwavering support, and it was enough. The next morning I woke up feeling like death had passed over my body and, after chugging a massive Gatorade, realized I couldn’t do something like that again. So: no more drinking for a bit, until I’m sure it’s something that I can enjoy again.
2 Drunk Fans is something that usually makes me happy. Gab and I would not have done it mostly for free for the past two years if we weren’t passionate about it and if it didn’t make us happy. It has been a healthy outlet for so much of my frustration and a repository for so much of my joy. It has made me friends and showed me the generosity of kind-hearted people and given me more confidence to pursue a creative career. But when I was depressed, happiness was an abstract concept that seemed too far away to ever be within my grasp again. I simply could not remember any other feeling but the hopelessness, and I couldn’t contemplate ever feeling any other way in the future.
So that’s where I’ve been for the past several weeks. Gab and I have different schedules that dictate when and how we can record the podcast, and right when we were in the usual window to record, I was being crushed under the weight of something I didn’t understand. I still don’t really understand the mechanics of it all; something something brain chemicals, which I’m sure is a statement that would drive my doctor friends up a wall. But my friends picked me up by both arms and sort of gently dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and now I am walking again.
We record soon. I’m looking forward to it.
Here are some resources that are highly rated by Charity Navigator:
For LGBT youth: The Trevor Project
And find resources at MentalHealth.gov