Thursday, March 16, 2006

Addiction And Depression - By Sober Mom

Depression and addictions sometimes seem married to each other to different degrees. In seeking help for addictions we often find that there are many other underlying issues that are simmering just below the surface and are initially covered by substance abuse. Many addicts spend a great deal of time wondering what came first. Were we addicts because we couldn't handle our feelings, our sadness and our mind numbing depression or did the years of substance abuse weaken the ability to cope with life on life's terms?

12 step programs, if worked properly, give us the tools to drop the baggage, come to terms with who we are and eventually become comfortable in our skins and ultimately realize that feelings, good or bad are a way of life. If I'm having a bad day my sponsor will effortlessly remind me that 'this too shall pass'. But likewise when I'm having a good day she quickly reiterates 'this too shall pass'.

In any case it's a reminder that there is hope after mental struggles, we will always come through to the other side a little stronger, a little wiser and with a little more hope the next time around that we are not prisoned in a life of unhappiness.

But what if the depression is too much? What if your quality of life is directly affected by your lack of motivation, enjoyment and verve for life? Depression is a real, clinical condition that many people in the world suffer from. We also live in times that recognizes this condition without condemnation.

Keep in mind that we're addicts and that we naturally want a pill or an immediate solution to our problems. Don't look to anti-depressants as a quick fix for a small problem. Life is full of ups and downs and we didn't get sober to not partake in life.

On the other hand, If depression is not a small problem for you don't feel as though you have to 'buck up and tough it out'. Living life also means having a quality experience. It's important that you talk to doctors, research your options fully and monitor your progress.

The good news for us and for millions of people is that we have options today. When life seems to be too much we have support, fellowship, doctors, families and a surplus of information to aid in our mental recovery. The even better news is that we don't have to drink or use over it - ever again.

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