Saturday October 1st 2016

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Sobriety and depression

Depression while living a sober life

This December marks my third year of sobriety. Can an alcoholic drink again? Ideally, s/he wouldn’t want to.  And underlying many addictions are unresolved mental health issues.  Here, I’ll relate a little of my personal story to you.  Then, we invite your questions, comments and experience about sobriety and depression at the end.

Sobriety and life changes: honesty is key

Without my doctors’ care, I’ve no idea where I’d be today. My spirit has transformed dramatically. I’m grateful to be healthy and wake up NOT having a hangover. I’m grateful that I can maintain normal relationships with friends and family…. people who genuinely care about me. I am grateful that I can think clearly and make sensible decisions.  For me, getting motivated to quit drinking was based on what was happening in reality.

Before I got sober my life was in a downward spiral. I was laid-off, drinking most of the time, severely depressed and didn’t think there was anything to live for. I knew then my lifestyle had to change but I couldn’t do it on my own. I scheduled an appointment with a new doctor to evaluate clinical depression, anxiousness, and alcoholism. I had to be totally truthful with him to recover. But what are treatments for alcohol abuse without direct honesty?

Many of us seek treatment for depression and anxiety but don’t talk about our drinking problem. Personally, I did not want to make the association that drinking and drug prescriptions do not mix. I thought I could have my cake and eat it too. So when I went into a different doctor in 2009, I came clean and let it all out.

Clincial depression treatment for sober alcoholics

When seen for clinical depression, anxiety or alcoholism we’re kind of like an experiment. It’s a trial and error process to get the right combination of drugs that work. No two individuals respond the same to prescriptions which are timely. It may seem like we will never be cured. Sometimes, it takes time and going from doctor to doctor until you find the one who can properly treat you. Try to find a doctor who is a recovering alcoholic or drug addict. They will do their best to get you sober and get you out of the pit of despair. Addicts can relate to one another better than people who have never been through it.

Don’t get me wrong: sobriety isn’t easy. New challenges in life are never easily overcome…for anybody. In fact, during recovery we’ll face trials which could make us start drinking or taking drugs again. We forget that life is about confronting troubles not hiding from them. By grace, I’m sober today and won’t take that for granted. You too deserve a successful life and it’s never too late to start.

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One Response to “Sobriety and depression
Jim
3:20 am April 12th, 2013

It’s a trial and error process to get the right combination of drugs that work.
“In many instances, we shall find that though the harm done others has not been great, the emotional harm we have done ourselves has. Very deep, sometimes quite forgotten, damaging emotional conflicts persist below the level of consciousness. At the time of these occurrences, they may actually have given our emotions violent twists which since discolored our personalities and altered our lives for the worse.” pgs. 79-80 of the 12 by 12 of A.A.
A.A. is not set up to handle the problems that are described in this quotation from A. A. approved literature.
“I have been depressed my whole life, I just picked up the wrong medicine.” Those deep seated emotional conflicts are the basis of my depression.
There are a number of practices that I have used to address the issues I have with my depression. Breath work, yoga, meditation, any of a multitude of other body works.
I believe that the energy that supports my depression is in my body and not in my mind. I am not a supporter of cognitive work alone with medications can do anything except keep the beast at bay. Period.
Best of luck to all those who suffer with depression in sobriety.

About Dan Van Helden

Daniel Van Helden is a full-time father of 7 year old son. He works full time in a customer service call center. Daniel Van Helden is an alcoholic that has been in recovery since 12/09/2009. His goal is to inform people of all walks of life about addiction, alcoholism, and recovery.

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