Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


My 12-Step Program

posted by Beyond Blue

“What did you do to get well?” a good friend of mine, who is currently wrestling the demons of depression, asked me the other day.

I paused before replying.

How do I tell her the truth? That I worked at climbing out of the black hole harder than anything I’ve worked on in my life.

And the struggle is by no means over. I continue to invest more time and energy into my mental health than any other aspect of my life–more than my career, motherhood, or marriage–because without a stable mind and body, I risk losing all of them.

How did I get well and how do I stay well?

Not very gracefully. I spent much of my deep depression wandering aimlessly, completely lost, not knowing which voices to follow. I acted on everyone’s suggestions. Some worked. Others didn’t.

I compiled the exercises that made me feel better into a personally designed 12-step mental health program, related to but different from the 12-
step program
practiced by addicts and their kin. They are ways to boost my neurotransmitters into action–getting those lazy bones passing messages from one neuron to the next–and to inspire nerve generation and cell reproduction in the amydgala and hippocampus regions of the brain.

Step One: Find the Right Doctor

Some depressives are lucky enough to find a good psychiatrist in their first visit to a head doctor. I wasn’t one of them. I went through five–and practically gave up on all traditional medicine–before I met the sixth, who was perfect for me: she was conservative with meds (she didn’t try a new antipsychotic every week like doctor number two); well-informed on new developments of treatment; and, using her sharp intuition, treated me as a person (with unique personality traits and philosophies that had to be considered), not as a set of symptoms.

Step Two: Find the Right Cocktail

I wish I could report that my doctor waved her wand once to arrive at the magical prescription that cured me. No, a few different faces (six of them) had to wave the wand 23 times before I felt any magic, or found the right cocktail. But that’s extreme. Most depressives have only had to try a few different medications before feeling huge relief.

Step Three: Exercise!

As a recovering addict, I love any buzz I can get. Working out–any exercise that gets my heart rate over 160 beats per minute (into the cardiovascular zone) does the job. And in a safe way, so I don’t have to cheat on my sobriety. I’m probably as addicted to exercise as I was to booze, but this is one mood-altering activity that doesn’t deteriorate my marriage and my other relationships (with my kids, with myself, and with God).

Some researchers say that exercise acts like antidepressants in increasing the activity of serotonin and/or norepinephrine in your brain; working out releases endorphins and other hormones that reduce pain, induce euphoria, have a calming effect, and combat stress.

Step Four: Eat Well

The more I investigate–both through research and nonscientific experiments with body–the more I realize how my diet affects my mood.

Here are the bad boys: nicotine (although I was only a social smoker, I had to give it up because smoking destroys practically every organ inside your body); caffeine (it’s a drug, which is why I’m addicted to it), alcohol (it made me crazy); white flour and processed food (what you live on when you have preschoolers who won’t touch tofu and spinach); and sugar (oh man, I’m trying, but oh man).

Here are the good guys: protein (eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, chicken, seeds, nuts); complex starches (whole grains, beans, potatoes); vegetables (broccoli, spinach, squash); vitamins (vitamin B-complex, vitamins E and C, and a multivitamin); minerals (magnesium, calcium, and zinc); omega-3 fatty acids.



Step Five: Sleep!

When you give birth to two insomniacs, you have to work extra hard at getting well, because regular sleep is crucial to an effective treatment of depression, and a must for maintaining a stable mood. For a year and a half I’ve kept a mood/sleep journal to track how my zzzzs affects my thoughts. This is what I learned: if I slept less than seven hours, I was prone to mania, and if I slept over nine, I felt more depressed. Alterations in sleep affect circadian rhythms, our internal biological clocks, which govern fluctuations in body temperature and the secretion of several hormones.

Step Six: Light Up

Changes in the amounts of daylight a person gets also alters circadian rhythms, which is why light treatment is so effective, especially for those who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). If I can’t get outside for at least a half hour a day, I try to sit under my mammoth HappyLite, a lamp with 10,000 lux.

Step Seven: Support and Friendships

I used to be a loyal support-group kind of girl. But since I’ve had kids, getting to meetings is much more difficult. So I’ve found my support in other ways–in phone calls and e-mails and visits to friends and relatives who also suffer from depression or bipolar disorder. That lifeline kept me alive during my suicidal days, and continues to empower me every single day.

During the darker days of my depression last year, I walked around with six phone numbers in my pocket. So to not wear out any one friend or relative, I’d call two people a day, and rotate the numbers. I spent hours on the phone and writing e-mails and visiting friends because I needed constant support.

Step Eight: Get Involved

Positive psychologists like University of Pennsylvania’s Martin Seligman and Dan Baker, Ph.D., director of the Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch, believe a sense of purpose–committing oneself to a noble mission–and acts of altruism are strong antidotes to depression. With two small children to feed and bath, I can only save the world at one very small step at a time. However, my ministry of the day–educating people on mental health–fulfills me in a way that combats some of the blues. Moreover, finding a way to creatively express myself–another piece of the happiness puzzle–has saved me from a meltdown on more than one occasion.

Step Nine: A Gratitude Journal

Based on her research findings, University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky believes that keeping a gratitude journal–taking the time to consciously count your blessings–is one of the most effective happiness boosters. According to psychologist Robert Emmons at the University of California at Davis, gratitude exercises improves physical health, as well–including raising energy levels and relieving pain.

Step Ten: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Personal Therapy

In addition to seeing a shrink for personal therapy, I’ve benefited immensely from cognitive-behavioral work I do on my own. Especially helpful was “Ten Days to Self-Esteem” by David D. Burns, M.D. (even though it took me eleven days…plus a few more). He lists ten ways of distorted thinking, which I began to identify in my thoughts throughout the day, and fifteen techniques to untwist the distortions. For example, if I think, “I fail at everything,” I can use the “Examine the Evidence” method to recall some things (like eating) at which I excel.

Step Eleven: Prayer and Meditation

Sometimes it’s easier than other times. And I do it in many forms–as mantras (“Jesus, be with me!”) during my run, or a quiet ten minutes in my walk-in bedroom closet with a lit candle and a Bible verse, or singing “Alleluia!” with a congregation of Catholics at church on Sunday, or meditating in lotus pose at a yoga class, or just as a vague consciousness of the divine presence as I’m folding the laundry.

Step Twelve: Time

When steps one through eleven have failed–and I’ve done everything I can think of but still want to be done with this life–then I simply wait, and let time do what it does best: heal.
To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.



  • http://HASH(0xd06c210) Shauna Baker

    Hi Therese, thankyou for a very thorough and informative article. I too am a survivor of Clinical Depression. I have certainly found relief in the form of antidepressants too, though like you, I had the doses and the combinations of drugs changed to find just the right one for me. It is true no two people are identical in their chemical needs. One of the worst things about depression is the feeling of total hopelessness and helplessness that accompanies the dark days behind the clouds. At that point it is integral to have the support of at least one person who truly believes that your illness is not something you can just “snap out of”. I had a lot of judgement when I was first diagnosed 15 years ago. My own mother thought I was putting it on to get attention. I had two boys of my own to care for and had recently gone through the loss of my left kidney following the discovery of what doctors thought was a cancerous lump growing on it. Fortunately for me the lump was benign, and I am happy to say the loss of the kidney – though traumatic, very painful and debilitating, was the least of my worries. I had also lost my father the year before my surgery. AND I was a single Mum. Anyway, nobody I knew had any knowledge of clinical depression and I found myself booking into a psychiatrist in desperation believing I was going mad. That step changed my life. She diagnosed me, explained what was happening chemically in my brain and prescribed antidepressants and her own psych services, and that set me on the road to recovery. I remember her telling me that I did not look very human when I first saw her, but that it would change and everything would be ok if I would trust her and do as she said. That was in relation to taking the meds regularly and until she told me to slow down or stop, (so I was not self diagnosing and coming off them too soon). I will always be grateful to that doctor for saving me from such a deep dark hole that I could not see my way out of. I thank you also for your honesty and the value of your information. It is only by telling our personal stories that other people who suffer (and I mean suffer) from the dreaded “black dog” (as Sir Winston Churchill called his depression), may gain the knowledge and the courage to seek help for their own illnesses, without feeling they are in some way to blame or not entitled to the help. Depression is very real. If you think you may have depression, please see your doctor. It does not have to be this bad always. Angel Blessings, Shauna (o/) (o/) (o/)

  • http://HASH(0xd06c7d8) Patrick

    Hi Therese,I too struggle with depression. I enjoyed reading your column from Friday, January 26, 2007 entitled “My 12-Step Program”. I also find it difficult “(to climb)…out of the black hole,” as you so aptly phrased it. I like your 12 step approach for a variety of reasons. I don’t know if they would work just for you or if any and/or all would benefit from them – but it sure can’t hurt to try. Recently I’ve begun adding some of the things you list anyway – not because of the article but that I just recently began adding them by coincidence to reading your column. Thanks for sharing such helpful info. Sincerely, Patrick

  • http://HASH(0xd06cafc) Tammie

    wonderful article helped very much(good suggestions)

  • http://HASH(0xd06e97c) andy-dog

    I am a 55 yr. old psychologist and I struggled with a fairly serious endogenous depression for all of my adult life, until just a few years ago. I do not wish to detail the steps I went through to cure the condition in this post. But I do want to say to anyone who is reading this that depression is NOT a character flaw, it is a real chemical imbalance and usually there are clear precipitating factors; in my case, an abusive childhood history and family history of depression and bi-polar disorders. There is also dementia on the maternal side, and my Mom died of pneumonia, secondary to early Alzhiemer’s disease. But here is the KICKER- you CAN beat depression. You can be CURED of it, forever. It happened to me and it can happen to you as well. Never give up; keep fighting it, find a good doctor like the woman who wrote the article did, get off your butt and EXERCISE (no matter what kind or what sort of shape you are in), and DO NOT LOSE HOPE that you will be cured. Depression is a wretched beast, but it can be tamed. There has been a lot of progress made with treatment modalities in the past few years and many people today are acheiving virtual CURES, not just some sporadic relief.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sparkle7 RichE Polin

    good article; although when you mention 12 steps I think of outdated concepts of AA. I know in CBT its about changing the unwanted”behavior” not sitting down and complaining about my problems to overidentify with my struggle…

  • http://www.google.com marylynn

    Therese, I’ve read several of your articles and I know you want to help people but, if I could do even one of your 12 steps, I’d probably survive this sinkhole. Most days I can barely put one foot in front of the other. I only work part-time, so sometimes I make it there. I’ve been with many different drs and on many different “cocktails”. Things seem ok for a couple of years then, here we go again, right back into the struggle. I’m barely keeping my head above water. I’ve been in this place for most of my 46 years, and I’m very, very tired.

  • http://HASH(0xd0714cc) Shauna Baker

    Hi everyone, nice to hear other points of view too. Andy-dog, I am sorry you had to struggle for so many years and I am glad that you point out that depression is not a character flaw. I wonder how many truly depressed people think they are to blame for their condition? It certainly fits for me when I was first diagnosed. Unfortunately for me, life has thrown some pretty dreadful situations my way and I have succumbed to serious clinical depression several separate times. When you relapse more than 3 times, you have an almost 100% chance of it happening again, so while I don’t accept that I cannot beat it each time, it leaves me with fears about coming off the medication in case the depression hits again. The last time it happened, I found myself not responding to the drugs and it took me quite a while to recover from the panic attacks and fears that accompany the early days for me, along with the endless crying. So I have been on them for about 3 years now, and recently had to up the dose when I found myself more down than usual for a while without it lifting. But that is ok. They help, and it is no worse than a diabetic taking their insulin or an asthmatic having their inhaler. My brain function just doesn’t work the same as someone who does not suffer endogenous depression and therefore I need help. The fault is in my physiology, not in who I am. RichE, yes CBT has its uses too, but then it may not be so beneficial when the problem is physiological and not so much a matter of choice or learned behaviour. A good rule of thumb I think is that if something sounds like it could be good for you, go ahead and try it. There is nothing wrong with trying something, especially if it turns out to be of benefit to you. If it doesn’t work, you can feel good about yourself for giving it a shot, right? And Marylynn, I’m so sorry to read that your life is such a struggle for you. Have you been able to identify what it is that brings you down again when you have been doing ok for a couple of years, and then you take another dive into depression? You say you have been this way for most of your life, so was there something terrible about your childhood that you could identify to seek help for, so that you view that in a different way? Changing YOU and things about YOUR life that do not seek to positively support you, is the only way to beat what eats us up inside, IF it is not totally due to the chemical imbalances that cause clinical depression. Love to hear from you all again. Namaste, Shauna (o/)

  • http://HASH(0xd071c4c) Sherry

    Great tips! Thanks so much!

  • http://HASH(0xd071f70) Tes

    faith, hope, and LOVE… it may not be that simple, but, surrendering to God everything in you, will do wonder, will do miracle…every night before I go to sleep there are 3 simple prayers i pray… I give thee thanks oh Lord for another day that has been added to my life, and for all the trials and blessings for this day… Unto thy hands oh Lord, I commend my spirit… Be it done to me according to thy will oh Lord, if it is for thy greater glory… may God bless us all always…….

  • http://HASH(0xd072e58) Anonymous

    My thoughts on this article are that the 12 Steps of AA were not clearly indicated at all, other than the fact that 12 suggestions were made in this persons recovery from her own depression. (Step 2 being find the right cocktail!) My suggestion is this, anyone that would like to add the true 12 steps into their life, get a big book, read the 12 steps and 12 traditions, and try a meeting. Psychiatry would come separate, and for a good reason!! But you know what they say, whatever works for you at the time is what you should do!!!! Good luck, and God bless…

  • http://HASH(0xd0748c0) Tim

    I enjoyed the article. Men working through depression are certainly less likely to share their thoughts and feeling with friends and even family which makes it extremely hard to deal with. I have found that over time I have had to modify the “cocktail” as it seems my body does not react the same to some med’s after an extended period of time. My concern is, have the meds lost their benefitial nature for me or have I gone deeper into the “pit” and the meds simply are no longer helping. I agree that for me having a strong faith has been essential in this battle.

  • http://HASH(0xd0758e4) marvin

    Good advice, all of it. One more bit of advice that might work for some is a dream diary (like the sleep journal). Keep track of your dreams. They may surprise you and show patterns. My theory is that your subconcious mind looks after you and gives you messages through dreams, intuition, etc. Us analytical guys have to spend extra time paying attention to that creative, artistic, non-verbal companion in our heads.

  • http://HASH(0xd075be4) Pam

    About one Year ago I started blogging. I have found that this is a great release of stress and the input from my readers can be very uplifting and educational. I have learned a lot about myself and who I am and who I want to be. I have also learned that it is never too late to make a change for the better in mind body and spirit. I look forward every day to the news letters I get from this site. Thanks, Pam

  • http://HASH(0xd076be4) Melody Garrison

    Scripture tells us in Isaiah 61:3 to put on the garment of praise for depression. (To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that might be glorified.) The bible does not tells us to first run to the doctor. It tells us to give praise for depression. Once you get into the presense of the Lord and praise Him, the depression will go. Research available to back this up. Thank you and God bless.

  • http://HASH(0xd0775fc) Rich Bozzi

    Great combination of actions,including right doctor(which I’m not sure i have),spirituality and exercise.What caught my eye was the fact you are working in a job that did not hold your mental history as a block to your field.What worries me is the fact that I just received my LPN licence at 53 and just applied for a position in a psych. unit and so far the interview process has gone well.My concern is in my medical exam I would go through if offered the position asks about previous mental help I received.Do you think a honest reply would hinder my chance at getting this job I really think I’d enjoy and have alot to offer. Thank-you and God bless, Rich Bozzi

  • http://HASH(0xd0782f4) Penni Hebert

    This is my first time reading this article. I am 34 yrs.old and have been battling depression for as long as I can remember.I was recently on zoloft,but unfortunately it didn’t help anymore.A few days ago my boyfriend told me that he can’t stand to be around me or to talk to me on the phone either,he says that I bring him down and that I am a miserable person!I feel like I have no support system at all,I am trying to help myself but it is really hard.I decided to start eating healthy again and to start exercising and doing for myself again.I’ve always put everyone before myself and I believe it’s time for a change. Thank you for saying that it can be cured,I just assumed I would be this way for the rest of my life.Penni

  • http://pakone Pami

    I am bipolar. Depression is my normal state. Only, when I am manic,is it noticable, so I am hospitalized. Put on some nasty pills to bring my depression on.I can see the beauty in the world to lift my spirit. [It shows that I am a nervous person or is that paranoid?] To make it day to day, achieve minimal, is good for me. I need to exersize, cannot seem to find the power. When the time is right, all things will fall into place. I trust in the Lord and It is all good. Live,love and do what you can. The thing is, all will not wait. I do what has to be done, not to many extras. I really don’t have a Dr. I should call my doctor to see if I am a patient. Is that in New York state law? It is really cool that somes’ script has been a cure.It does not restore any confidence in the medical profession. Which I beleive I am boycotting except in an emergency. love to all

  • http://HASH(0xd07a2c8) Nel

    At times struggles seem endless. Sometimes we might wonder what are we here for? I just got through reading “A Purpose Driven Life” and God’s Power to Change Your Life” by Rick Warren. Psalm 91 is a wonderful verse. Actually God is the Great Physician. Hope this helps. Nel

  • Terry Olinger

    I like this! This is good. I posted on another thread (12 steps again-or something like that) without even reading this. Didn’t realize it was your own program. I think exercise was the one that did if for me. Specifically would recommend Kundalini Yoga, but anything will work. Running is a powerful antidepressant.

  • lot

    To Rich Bozzi
    Be honest and leave the rest up to God.

  • Freida

    Today I am so sad. Just about life, everything. And I’m not being selfish; maybe self-centered, but I’m sad for other people in the world, too. I just wonder if I will live the rest of my life like this and die feeling this way.
    I take anti-depressants, but my circumstances are abit on the sucky side right now; mostly finances, thank God nothing worse, but I fear other things happening. I try to be positive and it doesn’t seem to last long and it doesn’t seem to change anything. I hate to burden my friends and family with these feelings because I know they have to think that’s all they ever hear from me, how depressed I am. I pray and listen to Christian radio and try to be thankful for my blessings. I am, I’m just so tired.

  • Gerard jones

    So it appears you have 12 steps based on therapy and medication.
    I worked the orginal 12 steps which are centered on prayer and meditation .
    I haven’t needed antidepressents for over 6 yrs now.
    I’m glad they were available and also glad not to need them anymore.
    There is no God pill and I wouldn’t take it if they said there was.
    regards.

  • Lynn

    Thanx for sharing that! I think your 12-step programme is really great! I’ve also started a diary to keep track of how to get out of this labyrinth of depression, and have found similar things to help me as well. The only thing I would supplement your excellent list with is affirmations, which could also be a type of prayer or mantra. These are the ones that have worked well for me (and others that I know with depression): “I belong here, I have a choice, I am not alone (those who love me are nearby), I have a purpose, I have all the resources that I need, I love myself and take myself seriously”. I often do them with my morning stretch exercises to incorporate them into my body awareness as well as my mental awareness.
    Best wishes,

  • Brother Robert

    It is with great empathy that I read about your bouts with depression, and all the things that go with it. From my experience in counseling, I know how frustrating it can be to lead a normal life with such a cross. However, also based on my experience, only about 7% of the people I counsel for depression are truly suffering from clinical depression as a result of a chemical imbalance, or some other physiological cause. That implies that about 93% of the people I counsel are suffering from depression because of a man-made environmental situation that has happened, or is still happening, in their lives. Too often, I have seen these people turn to drugs, psychiatrists, and whatever the latest “thing” that the world has to offer. The fact is that none of these things can solve the problem. Why? Because the simple answer to the problem is God.
    Whether we want to admit it or not, we are created in the image and likeness of God and, as such, He has infused within us, a need to love Him, and to be loved by Him and one another, which is one and the same. And, God doesn’t want to be just a dimension in our lives. He wants us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths, and He wants us to love each other as He loves us. He wants to be our 24/7 foundation — the One who guides along the pathways of life until we reach heaven, and the safe harbor who protects us during the storms of life. He wants us to have an intimate and personal relationship with Him, one in which He is our Father, and we are His children.
    What happens when we say “No”? Saint Augustine answered it best when he said: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, O Lord.” Where there is no love of God, there is no peace; and, where there is no peace, our spirits become troubled and depressed which, in turn, tears apart our bodies, minds, and souls. As such, we have to ask ourselves, “Who, or what, is first in my life?” If it is anything or anyone other than God (including ourselves), we need to rearrange our priorities, for the antithesis of God is “self.” From my experience, the primary cause of depression is putting ourselves first, before God and others; and, the second is like it: we won’t forgive ourselves and continue to carry the “baggage of guilt” from the past. Therefore, when someone tells me that they are depressed, I suggest theat they go and, “Do something beautiful for God.” The Rx never fails.
    In summary, I suggest that those who are depressed first determine if their condition is physiological or environmental, and if it is environmental, take to heart the truth I’ve shared. Then, if further counseling is needed, that they contact the Brothers & Sisters of The Divine Mercy (we’re in the phone book), or any other organization who can bring them to God, and God to them.

  • Brother Robert

    Re: Our Post of 08-23-07 @ 8:49 PM
    Our apologies to those who may have been trying to contact us. The Brothers & Sisters of The Divine Mercy is a Catholic evangelization apostolate located in Annapolis, Maryland and our telephone numbers are: (410) 757-4886 or 888-855-3702 (toll-free).
    God bless!

  • charmaine

    I feel that I dont belong anywhere, last night i cryed my eyes out, my husband was still saying something and the next moment I just snap. I am drinking ant-depression pills for about two years, it seems like it is just getting worse. I feel sorry for myself, I feel stupid, It feels like nobody needs me, why am I here,I dont speak to anybody about this, it feels they will not understand, think I am crazy of something. Any body out there that can HELP me.

  • K. Ogden

    I enjoy reading about your 12 steps and it reminds me to tell you this one, “You cannot be all things, to all people, all the time.” Sometimes we must guard our own emotional and spititual well-being first, even though our giving nature sometimes causes us to overextend ourselves, sometime…I’ve had to learn how not to feel “selfish” or self-centered, whenever I decide to put myself first…I am a recovering person, and it is only my deep relationship with GOD that fulfills me completely, whenever I feel torn between those I truely love, and my own need to avoid overly stressful circumstances, that could possibly lead to relapse…Sometimes we reach to develop strength and take “chances”, but you’ll be O.K., when you look inside first.

  • Ruthann

    Charmaine,
    It looks like you posted 9 days ago without a response to your “help” plea. I am answering you to try and give you a little hope. I can relate to the way you describe your situation in life as I feel like I have slowly been chewed up by the depression monster and now am slowly being digested by it! While I agree with Brother Robert about God being the best medicine, I must disagree with his point about the reason 97% of people are depressed is because they put themselves first. He could be right about this when it occurs on a truly subconscious level, but I think what brought me to the state I’m in now is by reaching out to help everyone else except myself. Unless you’ve been a selfish person your whole life, one of the symptoms of deperession is that sudden awareness that while you’ve been taking care of and doing for everyone else, you haven’t been taking care of yourself.
    First, my dear, be gentle with yourself. You may feel like for the last two years that your life and your “me” have been swirling down the toilet. You don’t know who you are anymore and your husband and family have probably expressed that same frustration to you. If the meds and your therapist aren’t working, maybe it’s time to try new ones. The right meds can give you that little push you need to put one foot in front of the other. Also, I know you know that the drinking is only conteracting the effectiveness of the antidepressants, but I also know that if you thought you could stop drinking you would. Just have one fewer drink today than you had yesterday – just one.
    Brother Robert is right that God (however you define Him or Her) can offer you legitimate help, but you might not be ready to ask or even believe it’s there for you. That’s OK, too. If you can’t believe it’s true, then just start with hoping it’s true.
    You are a good person, Charmaigne! You are a divine spark with special gifts and talents that God only gave to you to share with the world. It may not feel that way right now, or you my even feel guilty because I just told you that you have gifts and you’re not using them. Try hard to understand that your feelings are your feelings and you can’t control them. But what you can control is your actions, although it might seem right now that you can’t even do that.
    Do just one different thing different, no matter how hard or inconsequential you judge it to be — just one tiny thing different: take a walk around the block, put a flower in a vase on your kitchen table, sit quietly for ten minutes outside and watch the leaves blow, or take a pen to paper and write out your feelings, not just your hopelessness or sadness, but really dig down to those feelings you pretend you don’t have or don’t allow yourself to feel because they hurt too much to feel them — you know…shame…anger…fear.
    Just do one thing different today than you did yesterday, and post back to let me know how you’re doing. It WILL be OK. I don’t think God’s standing there tapping his toe saying, “if Charmaigne doesn’t ask for grace, then she gets nothing from me!” I think He is surrounding you with a love you can’t allow yourself to feel yet. But just because you can’t yet feel it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Baby steps, Charmaigne, baby steps!
    Ruth Ann

  • Monee

    Charmaine
    Please know that reading your tranparent and painful post has helped me to persevere another day!!! Thank you for being here and having the courage to share your real self with us. You will get the answers you need. You are loved and GOD especially wants to love you!!!

  • sue

    Printing this one out…its genious!

  • Anonymous

    Thank You Heavenly for waking me up today and preparing me with favor along my way.
    Thank you for saving me
    Thank you for being my shield and my ROCK
    Thank you for the man(spouse) of God that you are sending me
    Thank you for the shelter that you are preparing for me right now
    Thank you for the healing in my body, in my BLOOD
    Thank you for opening up the heart of someone to bless me with a car and an apartment/house today, today LOrd- I Thank You!
    Thank you for sending me divine connection and open my eyes to know who they are when they are sent
    Thank you heavenly father for GRACE AND MERCY. Thanks for blessing america and allowing me to live in it. IN JESUS NAME:IN GOD WE TRUST
    THANK YOU for restoring back to me everything good that I have lost

  • Julie’s mom

    I just started receiving Beliefnet and just began reading it. Today’s made so much sense to me- 2 different ways to treat a person- one for addiction and one for mental illness. This is the flip- flopping that we have all done in trying to help Julie. Sweet Julie is 25 with addiction and (I believe) bi-polar problems. She has left the house , found a guy , not working, not getting up, not communicating and I’m scarred to death for her. She graduated from college, took a job and started being late bc she got addicted to Adderol and was double dosing- up all night and would then not be able to get up in the AM. She has taken different jobs and lived home- not happily, I might add.I let her have her new “boy toy” (5 yrs younger) live w us and it worked for awhile- Jules went back to graduate school, was getting a 4.0, seemed to have some direction- was drug free (kind of- still having pot occasionally- but not big stuff)and on a forward path.After 6 mos. the boy stopped working, Julie started taking things again, dumped the baby boy, and I finally kicked her out 3 months ago. She wouldn’t seek help, wouldn’t work, had huge credit card debt,stayed in bed most of the day- so I tried the hard line- like you would for addictive behavior. What I wanted to do was hold her and carry her to someone who could fix her- bc I sure couldn’t. She’s worse now and I’m heartsick every day. This is a beautiful, bright, athletic and sweet girl who is vacant inside, aggressively angry at me,steals and lies and can’t be trusted in any way. I feel like Lucifer has taken over my child. I just don’t know what to do. Everything I’ve been reading says she has to want it herself- but- what if she’s too ill to know what she needs?

  • Barbara

    I have a dilemma.Dear friend who in the past has been diagnosed bi-polar and also has an addiction to alcohol, just went through an extended stay in a re-hab center, went on a “binge” within 45 days. Is now in de-tox and has asked upon release to come stay with me. Prior to last re-hab, stayed with me on the condition of “no alcohol”, but did not abide by this. I would really like to help in some way, but am not sure allowing him back into my home is the right way to help.
    He says he doesn’t want to die and knows if he continues on his past path that he will. I don’t know what to do.

  • Edward Howell

    Being grateful is essential to my mental health I have to accept things that I can’t change. I try to keep the focus on my side of the street and try to be patient and tolerant of others. Service helping others is the best way for me to increase my self- esteem. Jesus said to love others as u would like to be loved. I like the verse ” Be anxious for nothing but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God, and the peace of God will Guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus” Submitting to God’s will is the key. Hard to do cause we want our own way and many times our way blocks us from His lightand keeps me from connecting on a deeper level to Others and God. If I let go and let God I relax and let the Universe come to me. Bless All

  • Wendy

    Have been getting and reading Beliefnet for a while now and wanted to tell you how much I not only enjoy it but, how much I’ved learned.
    Being a functioning depressive, as I think of myself, your many posts and others comments are really good to read. There’s much food for thought in your writing, and it’s great that you point out even more areas to look into.
    Wendy

  • Tarah

    Wow, this was really good. You’re such a good writer! I try to read things to help me stay in a good mood, too. Right now I’m reading “100 ways to bust the blues,” by Tanya Tucker. One of her suggestions was to sit down on the floor and have a conversation with the dog of what’s bothering you and why you’re down. I tried it, and it worked really well! I thought you might want to try it, too, since you’re always looking for new things, it seems.

  • Glenna

    I have discovered a balanced diet of reading helps to get me through: focus (paying close attention to the material I read on my job), checking the news of the world almost daily, traveling with Ralph Waldo Emerson through his [Heart of Emerson's] Journals, the cartoons and beautifully developed pieces in The New Yorker magazine — even without a regimen of disciplined exercise and a “healthy” social life, these seem to enable me now to face the world straight on and with fair contentment!

  • vanessa

    Hi, I would like help for my uncle. He has been saying he wants to kill himself, and that he is very depressed and traumatized. His wife is a b*tch, She is cheating on him, and straight out told him that she f*cks inside his oen truck in front of her own little kds after she drops the other kids at school, isnt she horrible?? Plus, she just told him that she wants to see him either at jail, inside a mental hospital or death… I am scared and I would like to help him because even though he is going to a psychiatristm he is not well… What can we do ?

  • April

    I have just began to explore belief net. I am really excited to read your 12 steps of recovery. I am in recovery also and depression has always really been my problem. I attend a 12 step program and have worked the 12 steps in that program. I have to say that they have really helped me to change my life and to build a wonderful relationship with my higher power. That is the key is having a god in your life. I feel very blessed to have found this site to relate to others. Thanks so much

  • Lyssa

    These are wonderful suggestions for people with access to such things as mental health services, adequate income to maintain prescription dependency, enough hours off work to rest, and friends or family for support! But then there are some who would wonder why anyone with all that going for them would even BE depressed. What about the people with none of that. There’s a whole world of people out here for whom such luxuries are an impossible dream.

  • Trinity

    It is so nice to finally find someone that i can totally relate with! Your writing is incredible and may i add, extremely brave….
    I live in a very small town and have attended different 12step meetings for almost 5yrs now…and i have benefited so much…however, i do have children, school and a business to run…still see a shrink, and just do the very best that i can…which sometimes is adequate, and others are just unacceptable in a society that does not have complete and accurate information on several different mental health issues….and the people at meetings have a tendancy to turn into nazis when it comes to working the steps and taking meds…..and then it turns into the whole thing my friend quoted the other day…
    “I’m not who you think I am…..I am who I think You think I am…”
    Know that you will be on my gratitude list this evening…and just for today….i can be a sober single parent of ADHD twins, run my business and go to school full time……only by the grace of god and the 12steps…
    Blessings to you!
    )o( Trinity

  • de

    To the person who is worried about her uncle due to his sadistic wife…rescue that poor man! Get him out of her path. She is evil and is trying to destroy that man. Go to court with him and have those kids taken from her. That environment is not for children. Get all of your evidence together including letters from people who know your uncle and her, like clergy, attorney, business people and make your case. But firstly, get that poor man out of there or he certainly will give up. Let him partake in getting his kids away from her and he will feel useful and make sure he gets some type of counseling. You need to be strong for him right now, and then he will get his own inner strength back. Pray works! I was abused like that for many years and I prayed constantly for strength to go on or I would have killed myself a long time ago. My ex was also trying to get me to do myself in.Please take what he says seriously. Let him know what a good person, father, uncle he is! And get busy with the court system. It does actually work for those who don’t give up. I have full custody of my children, no visitation for him and restraining orders for all of us. He is also serving time for all the violence. Words can be violent too! God bless you..my prayers are out there!

  • Desri

    Thank you for these very applicable steps…i have struggled with different vices in the past from Marijauna, eating(still struggling with that one:), binge drinking, sex, internet…all kinds of things that simply did not work..however I could never quite identify with the “12 Steps Recovery” program. I would attempt meetings and just felt out of place, yet I knew I needed more structured advice then what the shrinks could give me. I thank you and will keep you updated with progress as I am sure there will be!
    To encourage the person who feels they do not have access or means to implement these items…I have been there. It really takes reaching out and if at first you are not heard or helped right away, try again. It does start with us, as hard as that is to hear and let sink in sometimes. I encourage the Serenity Prayer to anyone that is a believer of any higher being. Say it over and over and allow it to sink in. Make the steps YOU can and ask for help and guidance with the rest, I assure you that we can conquer this! Good Luck and God Bless.

  • susan klinger

    I also have attended meetings Al-anon. Thank you for your way of working the steps. I also believe change is helping to keep insanity from controlling my life.The same things ca happen if you resist change. I always try hard to refocus and tothink of somethng pleasant or hissterically funny that has happened to me,music or a comedy rental,and i like bearing my soul too. Sometimes to starngers is best. Some people forget gossip is harmful.Or i try the class room of silence and read something meditate. Expectations cause resentment,so expecting someone always be there for me wrong. I need all things to reach and always look to find new ways to stay calm and sane.

  • Rose

    I have dealt with chemical depression for more than 10 years. It all began when I had my first surgery. Apparently my brain hates anesthesia. I was in a very deep depression and had to be hospitalized. I’ve been fortunate to have had only one bad experience with a doctor. My current psychiatrist is awesome; she LISTENS to me. My last serious bout was after yet another surgery. I don’t think I will ever be able to have a surgery and not have a depression. My best advice to anyone suffering from deep depression; DO NOT GIVE UP.

  • RICHARD L HARRIS

    I SHOULD ADD THIS TO MY AA TWELVE STEPS. THANK YOU…RI

  • Andrea

    Those are great things to incorporate into a lifestyle, but what about repairing damage we caused ourselves and to others?
    What about making amends? What about looking at our faults honestly, so we can identify them and release them?
    “Cleaning house” is imperative. By doing so, we can clean out our emotional debris so the sunlight of the spirit can enter.

  • Sandra

    Yes, your list is great, it needs 2 b wholistic and what wrks 4 u at dif times. Well done.

  • bonnie

    I suffer from deep depression , that alot of times I can hide very well ,but when I cant I find myself hiding in my room , I work part time so its a little harder to hide it, but Im guessing this is a good thing , cause others are noticing when im secluding myself and try to talk me into better moods . I enjoy the staff so much ,
    I have to add that I suffer from Fibermayagia , which sometimes is enough to get me down . Other days , well Im finding that my relationships are what is getting to me . I found myself in a 20 year controlling marriage , and then for 6 yrs not knowing most of it that he was a married man , but he also ended up being very controlling . I have broke things off , but Im finding swimming , leslie sansones fast 4 mile walk , eating right (trying very hard) . just isnt enough . I feel so bad trying to vent to my best friend , she assures me its ok , that it wont always be this way , but Im feeling that being 47 years old , when is it going to get better ?…I do see a shrink and a counsler , both so very nice and try to be helpful , but i really would like what else can i do . or try just to feel apart of society .
    bonnie

  • Laura

    Don’t forget service work or helping others. It is important to take care of oneself too, but I keep hearing that service work in whatever form can do wonders for depression.

  • Annie Turner

    These 12-Steps are well & good but one has to set a goal to follow them whole-heartly. But the negative well-beings jump in & you just can’t get over them. It doesn’t make how much you try you’re letting the depression run your life instead of you running the depression into the positive aspects of your life. I’ve got a therapist & a doctor that prescibes me my depression meds. I also have other mental/physical problems & I’m impatient about long it’s taking to figure out what’s the cause of them — it ain’t all the depression as some my other doctors, I see. Giving it time is getting murder.

  • N. L.

    Hello everyone, Every morning when I get up I check out my thinking because that’s where it starts with me, how I think is how I live, negative thinking is habititual and keep us from growing spiritual and keeps us insane and trapped in fear, worry and anxiety as well as physically ill. I stay very close to my higher power, prayer is very important in my life, prayer keeps me calm and quiet within and helps me to listen to spiritual guidance as well to grow spiritual, with out spititual guidance I’m unable to be of help to any one not even my self, gratitude is also vital and very important in my life, without gratitude we feel and think that we never have enough of any thing, it keeps us spititually empty, gratitude gives us joy and hope and keeps us thankful for the many gifts we recieve every day and most of all keeps us healthy in every way, spiritual, mentally and physically so in return we can help those that need our help.. Thank You Higher Power.

  • carmen

    Well, I read the other day that singing in the morning will make you feel better the rest of the day, so I am doing it, lets wait ( that word again) and see, I let you know.
    The sleep formula: 9, hit the target with me.
    I’m going to go bankrupt if I buy all the books recommended. Carmen

  • Anonymous

    PRAYERS IS THE BEST THING EVER. IF YOU ARE HAPPY PRAY AND GIVE THANKS IF YOU ARE SAD PRAY AND GIVE THANKS. ONLY WITH GOD CAN WE GO THROUGH LIFE FOR ME, YOU, OUR FAMILY & OUR FRIENDS AND THE BEAUTIFUL BLESSED WORLD AROUND US .LET’S START A PRAYING MATRAS FOR FOR ALL NEAR AND FAR, I HAVE A SPIRITUAL GRATITUDE (I MUST LOOK DEEP INSIDE ME)I KNOW GOD IS A WONDERFUL LOVING GOD AND HE WILL NOT FORSAKE US. I KNOW.
    I WILL PRAY FOR ALL OF YOU WHO ARE IN NEED. WHATEVER YOU NEED FOR GOD KNOWS ALL OF OUR NEEDS. MAY GOD GRANT YOU PEACE, LOVE, GUIDANCE, DIRECTON, PROTECTION, WITH YOUR NEEDS AND YOUR LOVE ONES.
    GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!
    EVELYN

  • ammamcp

    I thought I recognized a fellow “whack job”. The more I read your posts the more I thought, “She sounds like one of us”. Thanks so much for these 12 steps. They’re basically self care squared. As far as Step Eight, after living alone for 10 yrs, my daughter and 3 grandkids moved in w/ me (16, 12 and 1). I’ve had to give up a sense of “higher purpose” and accept that my ministry is my family. Which is actually not a bad thing. And if I can somehow manage to do something else (like your being a mental hlth educator), it’s a good thing, too. One thing I know, for me, is that I will have much less unreasonable expectations and judgements of people w/ families, especially small kids. It’s easy to forget how much time and psychic energy they take when you live alone!! My future ministry will be much more compassionate and truly helpful after this experience!!
    Thanks again for your sharing. It always touchs me in some way.

  • Jeff

    Thank you for sharing your 12 steps with me. I believe there’s a LOT of wisdom in your words. As a depressive myself since childhood–not to mention a recovered alcoholic and bipolar– I’ve had (and have) many mental and emotional health challenges. But trying to maintain a prayerful attitude and gratitude throughout my day has been the most powerful “medicine” for me. When I remember to consciously call to mind the many things I have to be grateful for, it’s an automatic mental shift from negative to positive. I too call my friends often–remembering to always express genuine interest in THEIR well-being, too–so I don’t feel I’m just calling to “dump” my problems on them–friendship goes both ways, we all know. They’re a huge help in helping me get my mind off myself. I could also relate to your trial-and-error process finding a good psychiatrist–I hit the “right” one on Number Four myself….and the right combo of meds that work for me. My best advice to anyone else like me out there is, (1) Find a Higher Power and learn to pray, (2) Be persistent until you find a medical professional who really works well for you, and (3) Get a support network–family, friends, 12-step group–positive and loving people who can help you. God bless.

  • Mary B Ackerman

    The only step of theses that can be done out of order is Prayer and Meditation…
    I hope All that are given these tools use them to the best of their ability and remember that Serenity is proportioanl to the amount of effort and footwork we are willing to put forth.. DROP the Rock….Only then will we see the sunlight of the spirit….M

  • denise

    ITS NEVER EVER TO LATE TO GO TO GOD WITH ALL THINGS HE WILL BE THERE NIGHT AND DAY IN EVERYWAY HAVE FAITH AND BE STRONG.!!!!!

  • Laura

    I’d like to comment on somebody’s comment (!): Evelyn, I got such a good feeling from your post on prayer. It just warmed my heart. I’m often suspicious about people who say they are so into prayer, because I think that they are sometimes inwardly judging other people, but I got a really good feeling from your words. Thanks.

  • April

    I’ve struggled with depression for years. When my mother died of cancer over 10 years ago, some things happened with my siblings that I didn’t like — they acted greedy, wanted to talk about money and material items, who was going to get what, all before she was even dead. After my Mom died, I went into a deep depression: no energy, ate like there was no tomorrow, and gained lots of weight and had no interests in things I normally enjoyed. I believe in the power of prayer. I pray daily and God gives me the strength I need. The only thing I haven’t been able to do is to forgive my siblings for the way they acted when they should have been a support to their dying mother and to their sister since I was the main caregiver, 24/7. In a crisis you find out what people are really made of. Unfortunately, forgiving them has been nearly impossible as much as I want to. They haven’t even shown remorse because they don’t have character enough to admit they erred and they’re wrong — something lacking in their character. I know as a Christian I’m supposed to forgive them but how does one do that when the offending party doesn’t even apologize?!? Meds never worked for me — 5% of depressed people can’t get relief from meds. Personally I think it’s more getting the right amount of sleep, exercise, eating well, being around positive people, etc. If someone constantly brings negativity to your life, family or friend, they need to be eliminated from your life. DNA doesn’t entitle people to mistreat you. Sadly, I’ve had two friends within two months who committed suicide: both men who were always happy around other people. I truly hope that those suffering in depression, ask somebody for help: a counselor, a doctor and talk to friends. Suicide is not the answer.

  • MARY

    MY SISTER ENDED UP TAKING HER LIFE AT 51. SHE WAS BI POLAR AND VERY DEPRESSED. WISH I COULD HAVE HER BACK HERE SO WE COULD WORK THESE STEPS TOGETHER.

  • Marcia Jones

    Thanks for the words and the depression is true , I couldnt even identify mine as times but hey prayer and getting out and moving and working out are the keys but prayer first!

  • tlf

    I am suffering from PTSD and depression. I read your twelve steps and do follow them as I too am a recovering alcoholic. I found this site one day as I was praying, searching for inspiration while dealing with my demons of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I look forward to visiting this site daily and the words of wisdom from all members keeps me alive and my faith strong.

  • Cheryl

    I just wanted to thank Therese for all of her wisdom. It looks like you are on the road to recovery and it makes me feel so GOOD to read your inspirational articles. God Bless…Cheryl

  • anonymous

    I am from a long line of family members who suffer from mental illness. My nephew committed suicide. His mom ended up dying in a mental hospital while her own health detiorated. My sister suffered from bipolar episodes and died before age 60 in an emaciated state weighing less than 70 not even 80 pounds. My dad suffered for years with mental health issues and became an alcoholic. He died of heart complications and his mind was going (dementia) although the years of alcoholism took its toll by never forgiving nor being forgiven for his selfish and erratic behavior. I have two sisters and one is growing old in a mental hospital unable to take care of herself. My other sister suffers with better days and worse days but the bad days scare me that she will die from this and her depression makes her sound suicidal. My brother died in his 20s of drug abuse and a poor choice of lifestyle yet another brother is abusive to himself and others. I do have my faith. I pray all the time. I have my own problems but when I compare myself no matter what I find myself in a better way. I will continue to count my blessings as I know I have many and I will always be there for my family. I find that others are also there for me. My mom used to say be strong and hold your head up high. I know I do this every day and look for an opportunity every day to make it better for me and those who will follow after me. I hope this helps someone out there too.

  • ann

    I enjoyed reading the 12 steps, I can relate to that DARK place, it’s not good. I try to stay away from there. I am a depressant. not manic but I do have a daughter (23) who is manic (bi-polar) I would like her to read your words of inspiration. It is so true find a good cocktail, good support, I never thought about rotating friends, how ever back when it was DARK – did I really have any friends?? I still every day fight the “dark place” and I will keep these 12 steps in mind. I am so sorry about your sister. . . I hope I can help my daughter now and we can walk together, But as you know, manics don’t let you help them when their on their low, they push away and fight the suupport, on their high the world is great and need no help. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Anonymous

    When I saw the word DARK I have to relate. I was in a very dark place in my life and I couldnt see myself coming out of it alive. At the time I felt haunted in a way. I didnt feel real but I would keep second-guessing what was real. I became and was very paranoid. Someone mentioned time and waiting as a way to heal. That was true for me although my faith kept me alive. I would dream and my dream life was some thing I could look forward to having and rest was my way of clinging to life. I knew I couldnt hurt anyone and I wanted to give up or do something in my waking state like drown myself. I would feel haunted by that image. I try not to look back or think of those days . I see you have a daughter. I have both a daughter and son who took medication in their developing years. I never felt like they had found a cocktail but each medicine served its purpose. By having the doctors involved in my life and their lives I know they both have a better life. I am sure you will help your daughter but I will say this both my kids will talk about stuff and remain open. My pain hurt them and I hurt for their pain. I have good kids and I hope you keep providing the support especially when they push away. Really that is when they need it the most.
    Annon.

  • Beverly Morin

    I would like to add to your list. My husband and I pray together every morning and every evening. Doing this together keeps us strong and grounded.

  • Pepi

    Thank you for telling your step program. I have heard these steps
    before, but It’s good to hear them again. There is a book
    Happiness and the Human Spirit, by Abraham J. Twerski, MD
    I have read some chapters and I do find it VERY helpful.
    You deserve and have a right to happiness and this book actually
    logically helps you to get there. I don’t get any financial gain from mentioning this book, but I feel if even one person finds
    happiness from reading this book, I have done a “mitzvah” (a Jewish
    term for good deed.”) You talk about getting involved in “something”
    bigger than yourself. Thus if I have helped any souls out there in
    computerspace than I have in fact, gotten involved in a higher
    importance than just myself. Also, I am quoted another person
    when I say “Make it a good day or not the choice is yours.”

  • Estelle Seibert

    Losing my mother/best friend of 17 years, due to sudden death, was quite a challenge. In the time since…I can attest how important the light is. I have turned to painting, in the light, to help me feel closer, to my Mom. My mother, too, was an artist. When I paint in the shadows-I often hear her voice telling me to turn to the light. When I hear this…it snaps me out of deression. In the year since her death-I have turned out some beautiful paintings. And I give them to my residents. So, lighting is extremely important!

  • Claudia Palacios

    Interestingly enough there are many of us who suffer from grave and emotional mental disorders. I am bipolar and manic depressive. I found myself in a deep depression and suffering after the loss of my 15 year old in a school shooting. There was nothing I could do to fill the hole in my heart until just recently. These tweleve steps are very similiar to the way in which I actually have made it “One Day at a Time” to the point where living life is important. This however took time…and like the author I work very hard on a daily basis to make sure my emotional well-being comes first. I start my day with daily prayer and meditation, thanking God for all I do have and trying to be of service to others still suffering. Recognizing emotional triggers and have a plan just in case, very similiar to the article: to contact someone, to get some rest if I’m feeling tired at the end of a day, find a support group. Learning to say no when necessary. Keeping my appointments with doctors and taking my medication. Today after many years of suffering I no longer feel broken and today I believe I am one of Gods miracles because I made it through one of the darkest periods of my life.

  • 8midnightblue

    I am bi-polar,paraniod schiz., years of phyical abuse as a child & an adult,& an addict from speed & alcoholic. I have fought for years to maintain a comfortable mental place within me. I love my MP3 player when I turn it up & feel the beat of rap(I am older) I exerise on my little trampoline,walk,dance, & clean house that way. Somedays it is really hard to get out of bed & I have to take both my hands on my knees because my back is out more than the chiropracter can ever keep fixed,so I force myself to stand up straight & deal with the pain. I hurt from neuropathy pain from my neck to my toes & fingertips. When I want to give up I remember my option is a wheel chair soon. All my days are not great but the thought of a wheel chair because I gave up on me isn’t how I want to live one day @ a time.

  • george bishop

    I am so glad I came across this article. I have such a belief there is a need for something beyond the twelve steps. I wrote a treatment manual that includes some of what you are talking about. Its main thrust though is in doing differently and learning how to have healthy relationships. It teaches people how to be aware of group and self interaction to get to a deeper level in communication in order to connect with others and end the isolation that addiction causes.
    As a health professional and previous participant in twelve steps I have realized through personal growth how this can become confining and detrimental to growth. I received resistance from peers and employers about making these changes, ones I have seen necessary given the evidence in my life and work.
    Currently I seek to find a venue to convey the community building process to others in order to provide freedom for recovery. I found it essential to as you say find the right doctor etc. I have incorporated yoga/tai chi, medicinals from naturopathy, and meditation, and findig a group of people not just addicts to recover with in my church, in order to achieve better results than I had in just doing twelve steps. At the end of 22 years in the program I found myself divorced and in alanon and doing things I wouldnt have dreamed of, but that were healing.
    Best of luck to you and thanks for the article

  • http://undepressed.wordpress.com Jesselyn

    I made it one of my new years resolution to un-depress myself. I am going to try out your steps. Wish me luck.

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  • Theresa Jewel Pinkston

    I have your books “Beyond Blue” and “The Pocket Therapist” and I want to thank you, Therese with all my heart. However, I’m wanting some advice on dealing with depression and anxiety now that I’m post menopausal (age 54). Do you know of any books, videos or other helpers along that line?

  • Laura Zamora

    !!! How Dr.Ukaka Save My Broken Heart Of Marriage Today !!!

    Glorious be unto Dr. Ukaka the great man and ever, my name is Sarah from Taxes city usa. since 1 and a half year I have witness what is called heart broken. my boyfriend that promised me marriage failed me and impregnate me and leave,he dump me,he stop calling” he stop picking my calls,and he no longer respond to me. I have be looking for solution,I fall into the hands of fake spell caster,they rough me off and took my money without help.I have cried,I have weep”and tears runs out of eyes. The silentness in my heart brought me to the deepest path of failure that I lost my job. Crying all day,because of my life was lonely. So thanks to Ukaka that came into my life and brought me the greatest joy that was lost. I saw his mail while browsing and I contact and tell him what I am passing through with no doubt because what saw about him,was enough to believe. And I was given words of solution on what to do. I can’t really help thinking about it I have tried to see what I can do, I manage to provide him some materials and he help me with the rest,after casting the spell, 12hrs later he came with rose on his hand and I was even about going out,i saw him in front of my door when he sees me he knee and said he is dying I should forgive him and accept him back he was crying,I can’t wait to let him finish I quickly crab him and kiss him, just then” he said he is restless without me, just as the prophet has said he will be. He brought out a ring and put it on my hand. Our wedding day was scheduled,1week after we got married. today makes it 2weeks and we are living happily I don’t know how to praise him enough, he has done me a thing I can never forget. And I can’t really share to myself alone, I want y’all to help me praise him because if it is wasn’t for him I already plan of committing suicide. But right now I am now so happy more than I was before. And you out there crying for help you’ve already got one,Ukaka is the man that you need in all rampart. contact his address if you need his service, freedomlovespell@hotmail.com also contact him on his web site: freedomlovespelltemple.yolasite.com

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