I started learning about patterns of recovery when my mother survived two heart attacks but died twice before her death. That’s the way she saw it. Her heart stopped both times, but she fought her way back. The second heart-stopping attack occurred during an operation for a different problem. She was 94. I only learned […]
I think of creativity as an opposite of depression. As the driver in my life that connects and communicates, it represents everything I cannot do in the midst of the illness. Yet there was a time when it led to panic. Creativity is usually discussed in connection with the arts, and the idea gets overblown […]
My never-ending family story has always been a hard scene in which I am very young and small and terrified. I’m staring at my parents and brother locked in combat. There may be no action, it usually flashes at me in tableau form, but there is plenty of rage, fear and hurt. There is a […]
Psychotherapists can help us make breakthroughs in dealing with depression, but often the insights gained during a session don’t lead to permanent change. Why is it that we can’t always put the new insight into daily use and sometimes forget it as soon as we’re out of the room? That’s the problem that a new […]
Mapping the full scope of your depression requires a searching look beyond symptoms to include the way you’re living your life as a whole. When tracking symptoms, the focus is on what’s wrong, what you can no longer do. Following daily life means focusing on what you do, the specific actions you take in response to the situations you run into.
By following your daily actions, it’s easier to spot the patterns of depression’s impact on the way you’re living. You can see more clearly when the illness seems to drive everything you do and when you feel have some room to maneuver. Those are the openings for change that let you begin a recovery process.
In response to a recent post, Clinically Clueless commented that, for her, recovery was a process, not a destination. She needed to keep aware of it, like those recovering from addiction, in order to catch the signs of relapse. I’ve thought of recovery in a similar way, certainly not a state you arrive at and […]