I’m Not Okay, The Return of my Dark Passenger

I have been sitting here for two days fighting the oldest fight in my life–depression.

I am not okay. Last night I made a mistake and did something I thought was long gone in my life. I went down to my local store and bought a bottle of Jamison whiskey. I fell off the wagon, and it gelt good. I have been resisting for so long.

Things have not been good. Yesterday was six months since the passing of my mother. I thought, okay, if I could get through today, then tonight, and I would be okay. I even hung out with a friend, but it wasn’t enough. About midnight, I felt the need more potent than ever, and I drove to the store that is less than half a mile. I bought a bottle. I took shot after shot, and then I went to sleep, hoping that things will be okay in the morning—a grandiose thought.

My thoughts have been dark, and I am not sure where they will go from here. The dark thoughts are hard to suppress.

I am not okay. My dark passenger has returned, and it is the worst feeling in the world. Not sure what is next, or I will continue to throw away over close to five years of sobriety. Not that I have been perfect in 2020. Back in April, I began to drink a beer here and there, but it was always a justification. I am not making excuses. I am not okay, but that’s okay. We make mistakes, giving me a chance to get back to where we want to be. I am not sure what is next for James.

Always Keep Fighting


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48 Replies to “I’m Not Okay, The Return of my Dark Passenger”

  1. James, you are so kind to others and generous with your time. I’m sorry the loss of these two important women relatives has sent you into a tailspin. If I may give advice, feel your sadness, cry whenever you feel it coming on. I hope you’ll reach out to us your online friends for support. Wishing you peace, Rebecca

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I can see why you might worry it would bring people down, although it’s true people can feel empowered by the support role. You’re in your hour of need and we’d like to support you as you support us. Peace, R

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Keep fighting you are an amazing writer and fighter. As you said yourself we all make mistakes. As individuals, the beauty of who we are is that we can recover there is no time limit just the success in saying we have. Striving to relocate the dark passenger to the trunk of the car, instead of where it is right now that annoying backseat driver, that we all get frustrated with. Mourning is part of this life we live and there truly is no time limit to how long. It took me several years to understand but the joy for me as time moved forward is remembering that they supported me and the goal I had for myself. Reward their memory with still striving for that goal even when the dark passenger says differently. You can do this my thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words. For now, the dark passenger is there but is fading away to the place he goes as I get better. Today was a better day and tomorrow will be even better.


  3. Those who struggle with addiction, we all fall off the wagon sometimes. It is just one day, not your life. Keep fighting and as a person who also struggled with substance abuse and fight it to this day, you are not alone. Music is now my only savior and when that fails I too have fallen off the wagon. Trust me, I understand how hard it is to beat, but you haven’t failed. Stay strong. Sending you hugs and strength ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry to hear this James. I have also been struggling lately. It’s scary how quickly the Dark Passenger can reappear in our lives. Stay strong and be kind to yourself. I hope it passes quickly!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dark times and Dark Passengers are so hard to deal with. Well done for having the strength to acknowledge your struggles and for sharing them with us. Sending you strength and courage to continue your fight. We all wobble when walking along the tightrope of life, grab an umbrella and keep going! Love Luna xx

    Liked by 3 people

  6. This time is so different than anything any of us have ever dealt with. On top of the loss of your mother covid pushed things too far. I am so glad you trashed the rest of the alcohol. You ARE strong. You will get through this. You are not alone. Suzanne


    1. Thanks, Suzanne. It was the best thing. I had a moment of weakness but we are all susceptible to those types of things especially given the state of 2020.


  7. 2020 seems to have been a struggle for everyone, so I am sure it has magnified difficulties for anyone with real problems. But you poured the rest down the sink….my thoughts and best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ll come back stronger than before. Keep fighting James. Love and good wishes xx


  9. Grief is hard. The hardest part is realizing that we aren’t really in control of it, of the things we feel, of the emotions we experience. It becomes even more challenging when mental health issues act up. The fight is hard, of course our instinct is to default to the behaviours that “helped” us before. Be kind to yourself. Be understanding. You deserve grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was combination. The loss. The depression and dark passenger. Then my allergies were out of control. It made for a very miserable day. But I was able to hang out with a friend and the end of the night and it helped. I woke better than yesterday. Still have a ways to get this depression off my back but I am trending in the right direction.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A bit better. I got some major things done like cleaning my writing space. I feel rejuvenated but still more work to do. Thank you for checking in.


  10. The next time you crave a beer or alcohol, think about what it is…. it is essentially enzyme pee. Call it what it is. Enzyme pee. That might help curb the craving.

    I crave bad things when I’m stressed out. Knowing these triggers and knowing what triggers you to drink is a powerful thing. Mourning the loss of a loved one is painful. Having a way to reshape the way you think about this loss is helpful…

    When my grandmother passed away last year, I started associating her with butterflies because she loved butterflies. Now, I see butterflies everywhere – on my desktop, on the TV, photos of butterflies… not so much real ones outside but I’m sure they’ll show up. I know she’s here with me and and butterflies remind me of that. It’s been a very positive coping mechanism so I’m passing this along. Maybe it can help others too. 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hummingbirds are your sign then! They really are lovely. You can buy hummingbird feeders and make a sweet nectar to attract more of them to your yard. 😊💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I actually went out after a few months and got a feeder. Also my mom bought this hummingbird themed wind catcher thing that is always outside my door.


  11. I know what it feels like trying to be strong and then relapsing on an addiction. Only to feel worthless. Hope you stay strong because I know you will need it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It does feel at times like I let myself down. That bottle represents so much more than just a lapse in judgment. I have to take a step back and realize that we all have moments of weakness. I don’t have to be defined by my one mistake. I will stay strong.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. James,
    I’m sorry to hear your Dark Passenger has returned. Please know you have an army of supporters wishing you strength and then do me a favor: Forget about everybody else’s issues. You have to prioritize yourself and tune in to your needs right now. Dumping the alcohol took guts and was an excellent decision. Making a list of my favorite things and looking forward to experiencing them, like sunset walks or a healthy breakfast, has helped me take small steps when I feel overwhelmed. I want to encourage you to reach out to your friends as a way of caring for yourself too. You’ve got this. ~ Colleen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Colleen. Today was bit better, and I have a great support system. I few bads days was actually good for me. I am reaching out to my friends, and I will be on the discord later this week, and I want to talk about this week in the Zoom meeting.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I am sorry that you are going through this. I been struggling myself lately with life. Just know that you are not alone & you have many people who are supporting you❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey James – I hope this passes soon for you.

    I commented a while back about how I bought your memoir. I read it over the past couple of days.

    I have bipolar I as well, with my manic episodes being the crown jewels of my illness. I have also experienced depressive episodes lasting years and mixed/rapid cycling at times in the beginning of my journey as well.

    I love the content you have in there, and I could relate to much of it. The main things I would have done differently are to not refer to your writing/memoir so much and there was much repetition – this interrupted the flow of your stories.

    While I never actually attempted suicide, I had years of my life where I was intensely suicidal and I told only my therapist that I saw every week during that time. It popped its head up here and there for more than a decade, but became better over time.

    I feel I’m through the dark woods of suicide now.

    Thank you for the incredible effort you put into your memoir and for letting people know they are not alone. Thank you for being an inspiration to write about my journey as well.


    Liked by 1 person

  15. We all have secret sorrows, silent screams which the world knows not; and often times we call it winter storms in search of the morning sun. You’re not alone. Fly!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. so deep and so melancholic! I once suffered from melancholy in the best possible life time of mine. But you never know when it strikes and that’s your strength of fighting it shines.

    Liked by 1 person

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