Depression and AA

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Amanda82
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Depression and AA

Post by Amanda82 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:41 pm

I have been feeling very depressed lately and I get major anxiety about going to meetings. I started seeing a therapist and I am hoping that helps. At this point I have not been to a meeting in over a week. The thing is that I feel better now that I’m not going to meetings. I’m not questioning whether I’m an alcoholic. I know that I am but I feel like the way I’m feeling isn’t normal. I’m also afraid that if I’m not going to meetings all my sober friends will stop talking to me because I’m not doing recovery right. I guess I’m just wondering if others have felt the same way and if you have what you did.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:40 am

Do you have a sponsor and have you started looking at the personal inventory? Perhaps that is the key to your depression too. Apart from clinical depression if its about just life situations, inventory process will help and a good sponsor will help you show the selfishness and self-centeredness around each one of them. Turning your will (thoughts) and life (action) over to the care of your higher power, then becomes easy.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Jojo2
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by Jojo2 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:07 am

Welcome Amanda

It might be an idea to have a chat with your doctor.

It is not uncommon for alcoholics to have other issues and many require prescribed medication.

There is an AA pamphlet
The AA Member: Medications and other Drugs

https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-11_aa ... edDrug.pdf

You will find some useful information in there.

I suggest you start with Richard's story on pp 12 -13

He does conclude by saying it is by no means for everyone of course, but definitely worth considering.

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positrac
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by positrac » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:23 am

I always ask this question when I hear anxiety of stuff in the recovery area. So when you started drinking were you anxious back then until you got a few drink in you? Did you have depression while drinking? Honesty comes from within and so you know the answers.

Possibly running to get some kind of other distraction aka pill to handle this might be more of a long term issue than the short term mental fix. We are complicated people and with our addictions it only makes us worse because we------> Me I can't figure what came first: The chicken and or the egg when it comes to my mind, feelings and how I am supposed to act!

I an not making your situation a joke as much as you thinking outside the box on how to limit more issues later and working hard now and doing it by the program and people who have been in similar places in life as you are in today.

What do you have to lose? But you have a lot to gain and misery is optional and I can totally relate to depression/anxiety and just feeling like the square peg and the round hole. Just be honest and tell the doctor what is wrong and hopefully they will hear you and actually not just pill you to death and give you a plan forward.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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Brock
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by Brock » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:25 am

Welcome here Amanda, even though I never felt the way you do, a great man did, the founder of AA Bill Wilson. If you Google his name and the word ‘depression,’ many articles will come up. I have seen where he says some of the writing took long because he would sit there crying instead of writing, he also felt at first that he wasn’t doing AA right because of the depression.

I agree with the suggestion of seeing a doctor and taking medication if required, once you tell them you are in AA they will be careful in what they prescribe.

I think maybe you feel better since you stopped going because it gets rid of some of the anxiety of having to go, unfortunately you now have some anxiety about letting down your AA friends, but if they are true friends and ask why you slowed down on the meetings, what you said here about the anxiety, is something they will understand when you tell them.

Maybe the most common newcomer question over the years here, has been this same issue of anxiety and meetings, my experience is that the steps help greatly with this, but keep in mind you are not alone it is a common problem, many of us drank to deal with anxiety, now we must find another solution.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Blue Moon
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:30 pm

Amanda82 wrote:I have been feeling very depressed lately and I get major anxiety about going to meetings. I started seeing a therapist and I am hoping that helps. At this point I have not been to a meeting in over a week. The thing is that I feel better now that I’m not going to meetings. I’m not questioning whether I’m an alcoholic. I know that I am but I feel like the way I’m feeling isn’t normal. I’m also afraid that if I’m not going to meetings all my sober friends will stop talking to me because I’m not doing recovery right. I guess I’m just wondering if others have felt the same way and if you have what you did.
How long have you been sober? Do you find that the anxiety seems to "cycle" for a few days, or is it constant? Anxiety is one symptom of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), which can last a couple of years into sobriety.

I just rode the waves because after the first episode I knew from experience that "this too shall pass". After a time, it started to level out. Of course, if you drink again, you likely have to go through it all again.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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positrac
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by positrac » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:41 am

**** it is weird to me that everything has a label on it ^^^^^

Not dismissing the intent as back in the day and I mean long time ago we had t endure whatever it was in sobriety with the tolls we had. Depression for me has been a real kick in the tookus and something I've had to endure as time like a white-knuckle drunk! Life is so much better now and as time a
has progressed. I won't tell anyone that it all goes away as that would be a huge lie! Life and my abilities to deal with life on life's terms gets better!

Blue Moon I like the description of the above post as life might have been so much easier had those labels been around when I got sober.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Zaq
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by Zaq » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:58 pm

I feel exactly the same way. I’ve been a year plus into the programme finished steps with my sponsor.

I’ve never lost a job and I actually the short time that I drank in my life, I supported my family financially. Sometimes in meetings when I listen I feel I don’t belong although I’m sure I’m an alcoholic.

I relate but I don’t relate. I want to go to more meetings but I feel so depressed.

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MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by MyNameIsBetsy » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:47 pm

Hi Amanda, Thanks for posting your concern. My usual suggestion for AAers who have anxiety going to meetings is to go to those meetings anyway. It isn't helpful for any of us to go it alone without the rest of the fellowship. I don't know about you, but I never managed to stay sober all by myself. We all need each other, especially when living sober is more difficult.

Pat yourself on the back for recognizing the benefit of a therapist. I had one too when I got sober. What was going on inside of me felt different and so scary. I wanted someone trained in mental health to keep an eye on me. Know what we usually talked about? We usually spent the hour talking about how I was doing in AA, what step was I working, and how I was getting on with my sponsor. As time went on, I settled into the AA routine and no longer felt the need for the therapist. I hope this is what happens to you as well.

Just because you go to meetings doesn't mean you have to share. Even if asked to share, you can say,"Thank you. But I pass this time." If you know you are not going to share, you can concentrate on what is being shared without worrying about composing "that perfect share" in your head just in case you get called on. As time goes on, all this sharing becomes more comfortable.

You didn't say anything about a sponsor. If you haven't found a sponsor yet, perhaps you might concentrate on taking that step. A sponsor can help with the anxiety by explaining how the whole program works. Just me, but when I know what is going to happen next I no longer get anxious about it.

Please write back and let us know how you are doing!

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Brock
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by Brock » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:51 am

Zaq wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:58 pm
Sometimes in meetings when I listen I feel I don’t belong although I’m sure I’m an alcoholic.
Feeling that I didn't belong is something which caused me to be in and out of AA for many years, the important words you used is being sure you are an alcoholic.

On page 23 of the 12 & 12 we see this - “They were spared that last ten or fifteen years of literal hell the rest of us had gone through.” I could have been spared that if I stayed when I first had the chance to, and I really wish I did, they are not exaggerating about the literal hell, it cost me a lot, family job and health wise.

I hope you get some help and relief from the depression you are suffering, even our founder suffered badly from that at first.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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avaneesh912
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Re: Depression and AA

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:07 pm

I’ve never lost a job and I actually the short time that I drank in my life, I supported my family financially. Sometimes in meetings when I listen I feel I don’t belong although I’m sure I’m an alcoholic.

If you are hearing lot of consequences or the amount of liquor others consumed then you probably are going to too many open discussion meetings. I would suggest you go to Big book based meetings where they talk about the actual problem and the solution.

Early on I was listening to a workshop and in that the person suggested that bring up the topic of powerlessness and unmanageability and listen to what others share. He was right on about what people share. It will be about how much they drank after they took the first drink and what they lost due to drinking. Nothing about the blank spots/mental twist that leads us to the first drink or the spiritual malady. Where we are restless irritable and discontented which eventually renders us powerless. If we get that straight, and we know our ass is on the line, we will focus on figuring out the solution. With that understanding we take this program seriously.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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