Thursday, 14 March 2019

WALK IN DRY PLACES #essentialsofrecovery


Mood Management

Getting sober is often only a first small step in getting well. Many recovering alcoholics must also face an underlying depression that seems to mock their efforts to attain real serenity. But sobriety does not cause the depression. It simply lays bare a condition that was present all along, but had been masked by repeated binges. It’s probably true, too, that many of us used alcohol partly as a drug to combat depression because it temporarily lifted our mood and relieved our pain.

One fact about depression is that it comes and goes; we can endure it partly by knowing that “this too shall pass.” Another fact is that physical activity helps in coping with it. AA cofounder Bill W., victimized by profound depression even in his sober years, found that walking provided some relief, though he had to force himself to do it at times. A third fact about depression is that we can usually alleviate its effects by helping others and by staying close to AA circles, even when we’re too depressed to contribute much. It’s also helpful to discuss the problem with understanding friends and sponsors, or a therapist, if necessary.

I’ll believe today that I can maintain a good mood level that continues to build as I carry out my responsibilities and make AA first in my life. Depression may challenge me, but I don’t have to give in to it.

© 1996 by Hazelden Foundation 
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