Marsh Middleton first off, thank you for this wonderful response. I completely agree with 99% of what you say. You have an addiction problem and not depression. The two are different yet often comorbid — occurring together. There is a very high occurrence of depression in addicts and addiction in depressives. Depressives often try to self-medicate, which leads to addiction, and being an active addict — I know from experience — is pretty depressing.
I don’t think we can be conclusive about my friend; I think there is depression, addiction, and depression-addiction, and knowing which was making him suffer at the time is impossible for us to determine today (maybe someday, when we understand it all a lot better, we’ll be able to make that determination). I hope so.
And you have found your way to peace, which is great — another victory in the battle to understand ourselves and in overcoming addiction. Yay for our side!
I also agree that every addict (maybe every depressive, too) is unique, and what works for me won’t work, necessarily, for you. Exactly to the point; some addicts are able to imbibe occasionally and be OK and some aren’t and that’s entirely normal. We (addicts) should be able to find the path that works for us, not one determined by someone else as the “right” way to not be in the thrall of our addiction.
From your narrative, it sounds to me like you always had the right genetic configuration to be an alcoholic (are you addicted to anything else?), and that got “turned on” when you had your first drink. Makes perfect sense (to me, anyway).
Thanks again for the lovely response and for reading the piece and I am so glad that it resonated with you (that’s the best part of writing, I have found).
Good luck on your path and via con dios.