The double whammy is living a life of addiction and depression (or other mental illness) recovery. The 12 steps work best for addiction recovery. But depression recovery requires much more individual exploration and experimentation. There is no one size fits all for depression recovery.
Some posts from others who are also living with addiction and recovery:
- From I Don’t Want to Talk About It: “Fanatic’s Fraility”:
All I ever wanted as a kid was to be accepted. Red hair and freckles, plus being named after a song. I was ripe for the teasing. Not that every kid isn’t. I was just never given the tools to stand up for myself or believe in myself. The only place I ever felt strong was on a sports field. But life isn’t really soccer or tennis or swimming anymore. I can’t really escape into those worlds as I did 30 years ago.
Here I am. 40 years old. An adult. And still I crave acceptance. I just want someone to look me in the eye and say I love you just as you are in this moment, and the next. And if this moment you are manic and depressed the next…It’s okay. You are who you are. Please Don’t get me wrong, I am loved. Tremendously. Trouble is I can’t always feel it or believe it. Why would someone love a black and blue fanatic who can find no balance. Who swings from left to right and back again like a wild circus monkey. Who can’t hear your words correctly as they ricochet around the mind and become convoluted. Who misunderstands and rises up in anger and self defense wrought with agitation at the slightest suggestion I try to be more mindful.
A self righteous monster comes alive and makes accusations, casts blame, doubts anyone could ever understand what I’m truly going through, how I truly feel, what’s really happening on the inside. No amount of mindfulness can fix this massive gaping emotional wreckage of past present and future. I am simply a lost cause. The world. You. Me. Would be better off without me. No one needs an out of control manic depressive wreaking havoc in their life.
2. From The Lotus Chronicles: “Conversations With Myself”:
Over the last 20 or so years that I’ve been on depression medication I’ve found that my doctors have to be part scientist and part artist in order to help alleviate my symptoms. In addition, if I don’t play my part by being painfully honest, forthright and timely, it can all go to shit in a handbasket (a charming expression don’t you think?). This is because each type, dosage and directive to each medication may react differently not only to each other but also to each individual person.
It’s scary stuff to tell you the truth.
I am fortunate to have found one of the best psychiatrists/pharmacologists on the planet. Not only does he know his pharmaceuticals but he listens when I speak and really tries to understand what’s happening in my body before he writes his script. I’ve learned to be upfront and clear about my symptoms so that he can draw the best conclusion possible in that moment. It doesn’t pay to be shy or embarrassed either. Once I was suffering negative sexual side effects to one medication, and, had I not sucked it up and discussed it with him, I would still be unnecessarily suffering now.
Another one for the ‘life’s too short’ column.
Anyway, today’s visit with him was no different.
He didn’t look at me crazy when I said that I knew I had a problem because I didn’t care about the Monday night Redskins/Cowboys game. In fact he said he knew how I felt because he’s a Steelers fan and never misses a game. He didn’t baby me when I lamented that I hated being like this and I was afraid one day there wouldn’t be an answer. He calmly looked at me and told me not to worry because there were lots of options and we’d find a way to make me feel better. He wrote new dosages of my current prescriptions and took the time to explain how and why he was moving each one. As a result, I left feeling like I’d made the right decision by going to see him and that I would be feeling better soon.
See, my depression likes to mess around with my gray matter. The lower I get, the more I try to convince myself that there’s nothing wrong. That I’m a baby. That if I’d just suck it up and get with the program I’d be FINE. The real mind-fuck happens when I start tobelieve what I’m telling myself. THAT’s when shit get real and by real I mean dangerous.