Today I feel exhausted, like a huge sense of relief has come over me. This may be a side effect of the medication, it may be a placebo effect or it may be a genuine sense of relaxation, because I have stopped trying to maintain my outward exterior appearance of “I’m OK”.
As I look back and reflect on the last 7 months, the last year and the last two years, one thing is clear, progress has and continues to be made. This is the upward spiral line of recovery.
Over the last two years I have come to know the root cause of my depression, which is rooted in my obsessive, compulsive perfectionism. This leads to a deep sense of dissatisfaction in anything that I begin, because eventually I come to a point where I cannot achieve my desired result.
Here in lies a problem – DESIRE.
Because my expectations go unchecked for a prolonged period of time, I eventually reach a place where I no longer see a point in starting, because the ‘thing’ I do start will not yield the desired result that has been created by my perfect expectation.
I become angry at myself because I can intellectualise the problem, but I do not allow myself to feel the anger, I suppress it. This suppression gradually creeps into other areas of my life and I stop feeling other emotions. Eventually I become incapable of experience any sort of emotion and the joy of life slowly dies away. It dies away so quietly that I do not notice it, but I know something is missing, so I try and fill the void with ‘stuff’. Caffeine, sugar, alcohol, fantasy, sex, co-dependency, but nothing really works and then BOOM I realise I’m fucked.
Thankfully, this time round, I had the wisdom and experience of other people around me and one thing that I am good at is listening. I listen to peoples soul speak and more often than not, we are telling each other the answer to our life situations. When I really start to pay attention, I can then start to go back into my past and start to listen to what I’ve been telling myself all along.
Each of us knows the answer, because we all have consciousness and consciousness exists outside of time, so what I become consciously aware of today, I have always been conscious of, but I simply wasn’t aware of it. I knew I was suffering from depression at the beginning of the year, I told people through my subconscious, that I was suffering from depression when I rejoined my 12 Step fellowships, but at some point I stopped listening to myself and directed my attention ‘out there’.
As I now bring the focus of my attention inwardly again, I see the denial patterns and the co-dependent patterns that have made me ill. Labelling myself as a sex addict again may have been helpful in the short term, as it has given me fellowship, but it created another problem. I was no longer suffering from sex addiction until I walked back into an SAA meeting. Then, in order to fit in, I began to believe that I was a sex addict and started entertaining my addiction again.
The problem was never my addiction, it was the underlying sense of depression. If I label myself thus: Hi, I’m Dan and I’m a sex addict. Then I am a sex addict.
If I change this ever so slightly to: Hi, I’m Dan and I’m recovering from sex addiction, then I am no longer labelling myself as a sex addict, but I am acknowledging that I have suffered from sex addiction.
I believe depression works in pretty much the same way. Hi, I’m Dan and I’m depressed. Yep, I’m depressed, do I want to stay that way? No.
Hi, I’m Dan and I suffer from depression. I have now created a statement that says I am susceptible to depression, but that I am not depressed.
Being depressed is just that, it is a state of Being and our Being can choose how to Be at any moment.
Whereas, suffering from depression is comparable with suffering from heat stroke. We can recover from heat stroke and we can prevent ourselves from suffering from heatstroke again in the future, as long as we take the necessary precautions.
Being is a state.
Suffering is a condition.
When I acknowledge that I suffer from depression and I accept the reality and all that this brings, I am then free to change my state of Being, as I am no longer shackled by the denial state of my suffering.