Al-Anon Lifer

Anonymous sharings from a long-time member of Al-Anon, which is a safe place to recover from the effects of alcoholism in a friend or relative...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dealing with Depression

Along with being an Al-Anon, I fight depression. Not the kind that comes from dealing with alcoholism and other family/relationship dysfunctions, but the kind that comes from an inherited chemical imbalance. I can usually tell when it's coming, and more often than not, I usually just have to let it, because I know that "This too shall pass." I am powerless.

That doesn't mean that I need to become depression's victim, letting it drag me down to despair and complete escapism. Instead, I recognize it, do what I can do to alleviate its symptoms, and leave the results to time. I know, for example, that some physical exercise will help, even though my brain tells me to crawl back into bed or onto the couch. I also know that getting out of the house will help, to be out in the world even though I don't want to deal with anyone or anything. So I plan on going somewhere, even if it's the grocery store. I go through the motions of normalcy and these help.

It also helps to make a gratitude list as well as list my good qualities. This is not a good time to do a 6th step, dredging up my character defects. That list, when I'm depressed, is already present in my mind and much longer than the one my sponsor and I made during my last 5th step. In fact, during my last 5th step, my sponsor also made me list 10 good character traits. She said it was like pulling teeth because I've spent so much time in my life letting depression get the best of me.

And since that 5th step, my Greater Power has been showing me that I am indeed lovable and worthy of love, and I have many people in my life who not only love me, but like me as well. In fact, just writing this post is helping me realize that. I'm already feeling better because I'm doing something positive. I am taking part in changing my attitude and something is clicking inside my brain. Everything may not be okay, but I will be okay. I've probably been through the worst of it this morning (after a week of knowing it was coming) and like fog, my depression will lift as the day goes on...

If I let it, if I "Let Go and Let God."

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