For some, it's so hard to make it through depression without drinking. I was one of those people who drank my way through much of my depression. Even right through into the early years of motherhood, I drank to some degree, before coming out of my depression.
Do you find you're an emotional drinker, you drink to feel a certain way? Perhaps it's not even a matter of wanting to feel happiness, could be a matter of turning the volume down on feeling sadness. Drinking to feel a sense of 'numbness' is also about drinking to feel. I drank for mind altering reasons. As I imagine you'd know, this way of managing depression comes with consequences, one of them involving alcohol being a depressant. Even though I knew this fact during my depression, I still drank, I still cycled through my relief and depression. It's so tough Chris. In hindsight, I've come to be far more understanding and kinder to my younger self for the questionable choices I made.
Without counseling/guidance in making it through depression, it can be hard not to drink. I think there has to be somebody there saying in some way 'The sober thoughts and feelings are horrible, torturous and incredibly sh*tty at times (an understatement). They're a part of the overwhelming challenge that comes with making your way through depression. You're in depression for a reason or a number of reasons and even if you don't fully understand all those reasons, just know you are feeling the reasons. The more intense the reasons, the more intense the feelings'.
Not sure if the following will help but I'll put it out there in the hope that it does in some way: The feeling of self sacrifice in depression was something I felt to be overwhelming at times. It wasn't until coming out of 15 or so years in depression that I came to better understand what it was about. Putting the incredible longing to escape the ongoing pain aside, it was about self, the sacrifice of self. Who was this self who suffered so much? She was, in part, the people pleaser who painfully tolerated other people's displeasure, the cruel judge who was conditioned to judge herself so harshly, the girl who had passions that others ridiculed, the wife who'd depressingly sacrificed her natural sense of self so as to keep the relationship alive etc etc. That self had to go. Life had become depressing and intolerable through that sense of self. I had absolutely no idea who I truly was beyond that self until I began to let go and find out.