Oops, accidentally hit the reply button. Sorry 'bout that :)
As I was saying, I left 15 years or so of chronic depression behind me some time ago. I should add, if there's one thing about being sensitive to what's depressing, it comes down to the almost constant need to keep raising your consciousness so as to not return to depression. Can be seriously challenging work. Being a mum to 2 amazing teenagers I wish to share how incredibly different parenting can be and feel while in depression. I used to give myself a hell of a hard time before I came to realise I was doing an amazing job for a woman who was facing what felt like hell on earth (depression) at the time. Constantly trying to manage your triggering and exhausting thoughts and feelings while raising a family at the same time can be seriously tough. Seeing chronic depression is partly chemically based (regarding brain/body), I'll relate to parenting with depression as like being given this really depressing drug on a daily basis and then being told to 'Go raise a family while on this drug'. It's sh*t, basically, and can feel almost impossible.
Never undersell how hard you've worked to get to where you are. In my opinion, some of the hardest workers are those with mental health challenges. You can be going out to work or working as a full time stay at home parent while working through a whole stack of meds in search for 'the right one'. You can be working to find the best therapist, working with mind altering therapies (like CBT), working hard to just get out of bed each morning and have a shower, working through a myriad of self help books, working through your issues in order to raise your consciousness and so on. So much work with little credit. Yes, those with mental health challenges can be the hardest workers in the world and they can work for years without 'leave', without a break. Give yourself the credit you deserve.
I can relate to alcohol as being an emotional regulator. It was a factor for me in depression. It's like if you were to label a bottle with emotions, instead of ingredients, it would read something along the lines of 'Contains elements of happiness, relaxation, freedom from thinking (mind numbing factors), Dutch courage, the 'social butterfly' effect' and so on. To not rely it daily is progress you need to give yourself serious credit for.
Have you ever looked into the challenges and abilities of an empath? Try Googling 'Problems only empaths will understand'. Hope it helps :)