Though I’m not trapped in a depressive episode now, I remember what it is like. For me, depression has proven chronic. Something I manage with medication, meditation, mindfulness and connection. It’s always there lurking, a foreboding shadow, threatening to consume me again.
Sober, I maintain connection with those of you that know me well – knowing the parts of me that I hide even from myself. Recovery from dependence on alcohol has allowed me to manage symptoms of anxiety and depression in ways healthy for me. Sober, I’ve learned to live with, rather than in depression. A key for me has been to see it for what it is: something that comes and goes, something that can be triggered by changes of seasons, something that can just happen no matter what, something that can help me rather than kill me.
When I notice that I’m becoming depressed, not just sad, but stuck in a morass of hopelessness that I cannot shake, now sober, I focus on taking care of myself, body and mind, and most importantly, I reach out to others. Symptoms of depression, when they arise, remind me that I need to nurture me.
I wanted to Dance and I wanted to SingLight plays and dances outside my windowAnd though I just woke I’m too tired to go outside to playI want to dance in the sunlight like nobody’s watchin’I long to smile and laugh and sing sing singI try in vain to put on my happy face (the one you want to see)But life feels hard today too heavy to holdAs light plays and dances outside my window
About the Author
Robert B. is a sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.