This group forum is for those who are dually diagnosed with a mental/mood disorder and alcoholism/addiction to share their experience, strength and hope with others in recovery.

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Depression and Committing to Sobriety

2 replies, 3 voices Last updated by  Ari 2 months ago
Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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  • #11053

    Emma
    Member
    @emstephe

    Hi,

    This is my first post here on this site and in this forum. I have almost 10 months of sobriety under my belt but have not really committed to working the steps. Over the course of this journey in sobriety, I have had some really difficult mental health moments, or even days or weeks. I have stayed strong and not given into temptation, but how does one incorporate their mental health awareness and working the 12 steps? I am in a rut and cannot seem to stop fluctuating between sadness and just being okay. Grateful every day for A.A.!

    Best,
    Emma

    #11092

    B-rad
    Keymaster
    @brad

    Hi Emma. Welcome! Firstly, congratulations on 10 months of sobriety! What a great achievement. But being sober/clean by itself doesn’t solve the problems in our lives. Which is likely what you’re experiencing now. I know it because I’ve lived it myself. I went through a mental breakdown after 2.5 years sober.

    My suggestion to someone who is dually-diagnosed is the same for someone that isn’t… Get a sponsor. Work the steps. Help other addicts/alcoholics. This may seem overly-simplistic, and that’s because it is. When I introduce myself at any meeting (including the ones on this site), I say “I’m an alcoholic and my problem is Brad”. I introduce myself that way because alcohol was NOT my problem. I was my problem. And the Program and the Fellowship were and are the solution to that problem.

    There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest. – Big Book Pg 58

    So to answer your question as directly as I can (that’s how I roll), just be honest with yourself and your sponsor and work the steps to the best of your ability. Working on your mental health issues and working the steps aren’t two separate ideals… They’re one in the same.

    Finally, I’ll say this. I am not a doctor. So the things that I am suggesting are based on my own personal experience. If you need to seek a doctor or outside help, you should do that. There is a “More Help” link on this website to get you in touch with an online counselor. I recommend these counselors because I use these counselors and I’ve found it helpful for my mental well-being which has been a great addition to my recovery.

    Best of luck!

    #11167

    Ari
    Member
    @dandelioness

    Hello, I’m Ari and I’m an alcoholic, also diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Glad I found this group since these two go hand in hand so often, it’s nice to find somewhere that addresses both.

    For a long time I’ve been caught up in a pattern of thinking that’s difficult to break out of. I ask myself: “Do I drink because I’m depressed, or am I depressed because I drink?” I’m sure many of us have posed the same question. I keep convincing myself that if I can manage my depression, or get rid of it, then I can manage my drinking, and it wouldn’t be such a problem. But, I know deep down there is no “getting rid of it”. I’m alcoholic, and I’m depressive. That’s just how it is. I’m coming to realize how similar alcoholism and depression really are: basically incurable, but can be treated. I guess it comes down to living with it day by day. My yearning to “be normal” (able to drink occasionally, able to be genuinely happy) is holding me back big time. When I was sober for only 6 months the first time around, I thought I was doing better and could go back out, but I ended up in the same bad situations. This made me understand what people meant when they said AA is their daily “medicine”. When a person with mental illness goes off their meds because they feel better (without consulting their doctor), it backfires.

    Of course, drinking won’t help depression in either the long or short term, so why do it at all? Why can’t I commit?

    I’ve got to accept who I am, and remind myself that “normal” is overrated and not more important than my life and the people in it. Easier said than done. Any advice much appreciated. Peace and Love to all.

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