Day 2 – Quote 2
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
As both addicts and people who suffer from mental illness, especially depressive illness, we come to believe that our patterns of behaviour are genuinely helping us and are good for us.
With the addict it’s rather simple, if you stop doing what you think is helping and just try something else instead, with an open mind, you will soon see the error of your ways. It took me about 6 weeks of AA to realise that I was an alcoholic and that I was drinking to escape myself. Whilst I was drinking I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
Depression is more complicated because often the things that we are doing are actually the natural things we do need to do in order to get better. The prime example being sleep. There are deep rooted psychological reasons for depression, but the more common cause of depression is co-dependent ‘burn out’. We live our lives in the service of others, moving heaven and earth for everyone else in order to take care of them and make sure they have everything they need and want, without a second thought for ourselves or our own well-being. We essentially martyr ourselves for the good of others because we have little or no self-esteem of our own. We have ‘other-esteem’, not self-esteem.
Eventually the limbic system, the brain and the body have to shut down because they are essentially ‘burnt out’ and need time and rest in order to repair. Our natural instinct though is that we are weak if we stop, so we carry on regardless. Oops! Things just get worse and worse and more and more quicker as time goes on.
Then when we realise that we need to stop and do nothing, it can be really difficult to know when you have had enough rest and sleep. If you don’t begin to test yourself then you will remain in a depressive, recovering state for a long time. I’m by no means saying, give yourself 2 weeks off and all will be right with the world. It could take weeks, months, even years. Only you will know when it’s time.
The curse of depressive illness, addiction and some forms of mental illness, such as OCD, is that they fool us into believing that our continued actions and thoughts are the only thing keeping us sane and out of harms way.
The honest truth is that it is these exact thoughts and behaviours which are making us INSANE!
As one of my nominees declined my challenge, I believe I now have one going spare, so I now nominate:
Thank you to:
- soulspeak2013 and
- Surviving the Specter
for picking up the mantle and to:
For the original nomination.