Prior, I had to work ISMA race in far western New York (Lancaster) I struggled to get myself there emotionally, I just wasn't into into it. I had to put on a happy face and do the job I was paid to do. It was a struggle and living hell. I didn't think I would make it. I arrived and one of the first people I saw, was a lady I really enjoyed talking, Nancy Petro, but I could feel myself breaking and I had to walk away. I survived the day and no one knew any different. That night I was supposed to stop at a very good friend's and stay the night in Syracuse. But I started drinking on the way from Buffalo. By the time I got to Syracuse, I said screw it I'm going straight home. Drinking the whole way. Looking for a bridge abutment to put myself into. Fortunately, I didn't find the right one. Not an incident I'm proud of.
But wisely, I did start speaking up with Amy, even though at that point I was basically going for a 'med check', and I told her I would consider drying out, but something like AA is foolish. I said if I'm going to do it, I'm going to check myself in and do it right. Finally on a beautiful Saturday in September 2005, I decided to go look at a inpatient facility in Hampstead, NH. As I pulled in to the parking area. I could see patients outside enjoying the day with their spouses and families. And I broke. I knew I was better than this. Not that I was better than those people, but I knew better and I knew it wasn't me. I didn't belong any where near there. I came straight home, called Amy's voice-mail and said I need a full appointment. I want to come clean.
She booked me in that very week. And I finally admitted what I had been hiding for forty years. I actually talked. Spilled it all. It wasn't easy but damn once the words came out, they flowed like water. Every appointment from that time on, I was able to open up. And yes, immediately alcohol use dropped considerably. Has remained that way too. The inner demon was out and I was finally confronting it, head on.
In November, I made an appointment with an endocrinologist, yes another female and out of town. On the Monday after Thanksgiving, I started estrogen for the first time. Immediately I noticed a difference. Each month I reached a higher physical and mental plateau. Thinking "it can't get any better than this" but with each passing month, it did.
I also knew that I didn't need the Paxil any longer. We agreed that I would taper myself of off the meds to prevent the withdrawals. But I was feeling better than ever. April 2006 was the last time I took any form of anti-depressant and haven't remotely needed any since. My body and mind needed the estrogen.
At the end of April I had my annual physical with my general practitioner, of over a decade. I had to finally tell him what I have done to my body. By the end of my appointment, my doctor stated "You've obviously made the right decision. In the years coming here, you have never looked or sounded better"