Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Depression, Real But Impermanent

     Okay, so depression is real... although I realize that it may be hard for people to understand how someone could literally be incapable of pulling themselves out of bed and functioning in the world. But you cannot fully understand something that you don't have and that you haven't experienced for yourself.
   
     When I was 18, the big D first hit me like a ton of bricks. It was palpable, alive. It encroached me like a storm cloud and wrapped itself around my body, smothering every inch of my inner experience until I was lost in darkness, crippled and paralyzed. It was heavy, and affected all senses. I couldn't smell smells. Couldn't taste tastes. Skin was numb. Labido gone. Interests gone. Pleasure gone. Life became nothing more than breathing, a constant state of agony, and the torture of my speeding, racy mind. All night my mind would race around. One thought, ten thoughts, hundreds and hundreds of thoughts just pounding away. And what if it never ends?

     The self-consciousness and insecurity was so bitter and so strong that it felt as if I'd never be able to function or enjoy anything again. I didn't go anywhere because it was so unbearable for anyone to see me so weak and pathetic. Suicide was a possibility except that I was a total, utter coward. When I saw others having fun, engaging, talking, eating, listening to music, or any other normal activity - it was like being stabbed. I felt like I was missing out on a life that I could never get back. I was missing out on my one chance to enjoy life. 

     You'll be glad to know that I no longer suffer from depression to any degree whatsoever. I have studied neuroscience and seen evidence of bio-chemical depression and there certainly appears to be significant brain changes in the severely depressed. But there's a catch. My doctors told me there is no way out unless I'm medicated for life. They told me it will never go away and the only effective treatment for symptoms was medication. First of all, if I take medication to relieve my depression, as soon as I stop taking it, I'm right back where I started, but worse. What sort of solution is that? Plus, I'm stubborn and I want to heal from the root of my depression - the underlying spiritual illness. I want the depression and its causes to be expelled from me forever. I don't want to be a zombie. I don't want to lose every ounce of creative talent and inspiration that I have. I don't want to put up a brick wall between me and God. 

     The good news is you can literally change your bio-chemistry without any medication whatsoever. 8 years ago I changed my brain and rid myself of fear, depression and addiction by, yup, praying, meditating, writing inventory, helping others and living by spiritual principles. Don't worry, I make mistakes constantly. I'm still a dick sometimes. I freak out, get angry, act like a psycho behind the wheel, manage to hurt others, and screw up my mind on a regular basis. But I did enough work to conquer my clinical depression and to activate a line between me and God - like a telephone line that I can tap into anytime, anywhere. 

     None of my psychiatrists believe that I actually cured myself of depression and addiction without medication of any sort. They don't know how to wrap their heads around how certain spiritual actions and certain spiritual realities can cause scientific changes. Dumbasses. Jk. 

God, teach me how to let go, to be where I am, to feel what I feel...

3 comments:

  1. I started reading your site and have not stopped, taking the power back and not looking at the world/medication/doctors everybody else to solve things. Its simple, its just "I" and with God its so possible.

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  2. Charlie, I also found that my 40 yrs long intractable depression lifted along with the obsession to use and a devastating cognitive deterioration was repaired after I took the first nine steps in one day and by that day's evening and ever since now diligently and devotedly do my daily 10-11-12. SOB, Everything is Real now. Awesome.

    I have no idea whether it only applies to AA's, or depression is generally speaking a spiritual malady and thus is treatable by the 12Steps. God is almighty, after all, why not. I see in the rooms people with severe depression and anxiety still going on, although their obsession to drink is gone, they are re-socialized and they are in that sense recovered AA's. I don't know why they still have it and I don't. But then Bill W. smoked all his life and also suffered from bouts of depression post-conversion. In my case a l l addictions were swept away, wholesale, along with GAD and intractable depression. I wasn't asking God for anything, well, I did ask God to accept me and be my director, that's all, and I certainly didn't have any expectations, except one. I wanted to experience love before I die, at least once. They disappeared by themselves, pufffff...

    Thank you for you blog and your books, Charlie. I ordered them yesterday, can't wait for them to arrive. Maybe one day you would write a book specifically on sponsorship, to share your "experience, strength and hope" with that part of our step 12. I found that the statistics on ASPD in general population and in addicts, in alcoholics specifically are about 1-5%, 15-20% and 10-15%. The rest of us are capable of genuine honesty even before the Divine Intervention and our recovery rates can and ought to be just that: 80-90%, as Cleveland group once had them, 'back when'people were actually sticking to the recipe as written.

    I found your blog yesterday by googling "AA and moral psychology" and felt happy to find a sister-soul who experiences and says all the right things that mine wants to hear. I'd been a wretched mess, an alcoholic mouse, petrified, unable to comprehend the world of people, hiding in the hole for 45 years and now I am so different, social, open and beaming, because I am not alone in a very real sense. It's us now, me and God, you and me and our fellow AA's. Dear God, we are so lucky we have each other!

    Mila V.

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