This is so true, but often ignored in our society, that is obsessed with success and achievement. When I was growing up, my Bipolar Disorder (the early symptoms of depression, OCD, and insomnia) were not addressed or treated. Instead, achievement in school became my vehicle of escape by obsessing about grades and compulsively performing at … Continue reading Grades mean NOTHING when weighed against a child’s mental health
If we have a mental Illness or addiction, the Hell of shattered lives and brokenness usually gets us into recovery. Sometimes the best incentive to continue doing the hard work of recovery, even when we desperately want to quit, is the fear of going back to Hell.
Recovery from a mental illness, emotional trauma, or addiction requires that we leave our comfort zones, venturing into the unknown and trying new ways of thinking and behaving This is scary and it defies human nature. It can be extremely painful. At times in my recovery, I have felt like I was being dragged through … Continue reading May you find the “magic!”
When I was living with untreated Bipolar Disorder and Alcoholism, I was obsessed with being "in control" of people, places, things, and circumstances over which I had no control. My modalities of "being in control" included lying to others and myself, manipulation, denial, bullying, obsessive thinking, intellectualizing, shaming, compulsive behaviors, and putting forth exhaustive efforts … Continue reading Freedom from bondage!
Having Bipolar Disorder, Alcoholism, and Emotional Trauma have taught me that life without recovery is a miserable existence. I experienced that for my the first 43 years of my life. At 51, I have learned the hard way that if I don't put my recovery first, relapse, depression, anxiety, mania, distorted thinking, severe shame, obsessive … Continue reading Like a diabetic taking their insulin each day to stay well, I must put my recovery first
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." -Winston S. Churchill When a person suffers from a mental illness, emotional trauma, and/or addiction, not every day is going to be a 10. Even in recovery. There will be days that beat us down, leaving us exhausted and … Continue reading And then we are reassured that, like many other times, we have the quiet courage to try again tomorrow
My recovery experience has taught me that being of service to others is a powerful tool to get out of self and elevate my mood. It also serves to build my self esteem, as helping someone is an esteemable act. And it brings me close to God, a Power Greater than me. Because God is … Continue reading As AA Co-Founder, Dr Bob Smith, once said, “Service is love in work clothes”
People-pleasing and worrying what others think are common bedevilments for many of us suffering from mental Illness, emotional trauma, and/or addiction. They psychologically enslaved me to the approval or disapproval of others for many years. It was a miserable form of inescapable mental bondage. Years of work in recovery and the grace of God have … Continue reading It was a miserable form of inescapable mental bondage
Even after years of misery, significant self-destruction, and causing harm to others, and even after being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and starting in recovery, my mind continued to minimize the severity of my illness. And, until I began working my recovery as if it was life or death (which it is), my mind sometimes convinced … Continue reading As we say in AA, our disease is always out there in the parking lot doing push-ups.
CELEBRATING A CHAMPION FOR THE MENTALLY ILL: DOROTHEA LYNDE DIX During the 19th century, mental health disorders were not recognized as treatable conditions. They were perceived as a sign of madness, warranting imprisonment in merciless conditions. One woman set out to change such perceptions: Dorothea Lynde Dix. Born in Maine in 1802, Dix was instrumental … Continue reading CELEBRATING A CHAMPION FOR THE MENTALLY ILL: DOROTHEA LYNDE DIX