I remember how long it took me to wrap my head around the fact that I had self-hatred. I kept rationalizing that I thought of myself as a good person. I didn’t accept it until I read in the ACA Red Book (ACA is Adult Children of Alcoholics) about my hatred coming from not being able to heal my family of origin while I was a child.
These deep-rooted faulty self-concepts kept me looking for people to “save” for almost 70 years. I guess I had quite a Messiah complex. Talk about a slow learner and a hard head. I believe these self concepts added to my depressive personality from my childhood. If you carry the weight of the family on your shoulders, it is hard to lighten up and let life flow.
Responsibility is a wonderful quality to have but over-responsibility kept me from becoming all I could be. So I have lived with the double whammy.
I have been gifted with what I call the double whammy–depression and addiction. I believe my wound is depression and addiction was the bandage. We are each our own mental health ‘doctor”. We each have our own answers. And mental health ebbs and flows. So change is not only necessary but is also vital if we want to be truly human, truly alive.
The 12 steps taught me the way out of addiction. But they didn’t help me with depression. Luckily, for me, I have dysthymia which is milder than other depression types and it comes and goes. I have had to learn everything about my depression by myself. I am sure that is true for most of us with co-occurring or dual diagnosis. The mental health field can provide labels, medication, and sometimes, if you are very, very lucky, good counseling. But we have to become our own mental health expert. There is no one size fits all for depression recovery. It is an individual journey.
I use RSS readers to scan 50+ sites daily. These are some of my current mental health writers:
Therese Borchard–“10 Ways to Fight Off the Winter Blues”
Bipolar1blog–“I am breakable. I am also resilient and strong.”
Depression Marathon–“Working and feeling well”
Infinite Sadness…or hope?–“Bloggers Unite for Peace”
(Also published on Dual Journey blog under Dual Journey)