Archive for March, 2010


March 31st, 2010

As the signs of Spring are upon us, nature shows us the resiliency and renewal of the earth.  Recovery is really the same thing–an opportunity to choose renewal one day at a time.  And this is an especially poignant springtime for me.

It’s been 6 weeks since my brother died of esophageal cancer, and the grief surprised me in several ways.  Although we weren’t very close, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been in a fog for many weeks trying to wind down all the financial and legal issues of his life–a surreal and unnecessarily bureaucratic process.  Although  I agreed to handle these details, I felt resentment that I carried the burden when nobody else in my family was available. Now that I’m stepping out of the fog, I do feel that I was of service to him and feel grateful that I have the capacity to take on such a task.

As my energy returns and I feel more like myself again,  I experience my own renewal in a way I never have before.  Seeing my brother’s life deteriorate and eventually cease, I now experience the preciousness of life and the immense gratitude for recovery through a brand-new lens.

why depression?

March 3rd, 2010

My last post focused on what I call depressionbusters, but where did this come from?  I believe that part of recovery involves lots and lots of feelings and feeling states that weren’t experienced during active addiction.  Take away the addiction, and the feelings appear.  As Pat Carnes once said, “The good news about recovery is that you get your feelings back.  The bad news about recovery is that you get your feelings back.

As program teaches us, recovery requires us to live life on life’s terms.  And part of aliveness and being human are the experiences that life presents to us.  By staying present to it all–sadness, despair, fears and even terror will show up at times.  It’s not the feelings, it’s how we deal with them.

A friend from program called me earlier because he was feeling a bit scared and lonely.  He really didn’t want anything specific from our conversation, but he didn’t want to be alone.  Staying connected at times when our feelings are “big” can be the antidote to using or acting out and possibly sliding down a slippery slope of self-sabotage.

Feelings are truly our allies–reminders that we’re human and alive.  Remember that feelings are like floats in a parade.  They stall sometimes, they move sometimes, but they always will pass by eventually.