October 2015, I knew it was time to do something. I found a Dr through a friend that would take patients without insurance and allow to pay cash. I spoke with him, told him about previously being diagnosed with anxiety, and was ready to do something.
He prescribed citolopram. I started taking it. It was a pretty rough time personally, but I stuck with it. I was also heavily drinking. Daily. Starting in the morning most days. I was also running a kitchen working 60-70 hours a week, not counting time at home researching dishes, doing paperwork.
Then, around January 2016, I discovered Chef’s with Issues. I started reading the stories. This was me I thought. I’m a food professional who has hidden and self medicated with drugs and alcohol for my entire adult life.
I quit drinking. I spoke to my Dr and upped the meds.
And I started the hard, difficult path of learning how to be myself—sober, anxious and afraid. It’s been almost 2 years. What people don’t tell you when you quit drinking is that your problems don’t go away. Things don’t miraculously get better. If anything, it’s harder. You have to find your strength somewhere that doesn’t involve a bar stool, whiskey bottle or corner of a sandwich bag. People around you expect you to be magically “healed.” It’s fucking hard.
The road still looks long, I’ve left the cooking game, mostly because I think I’ve burned all the bridges a person can possibly burn. I’m trying to make a go at it doing stuff on the web, and that’s a whole new source of anxiety.
But it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done.
If you need someone to talk to, ask questions of, or someone to just yell at, find me. I’ll listen.