Depression

The Emotional Dimension of Recovery, Part 2Premium Content

Part 1

How do feelings affect the addict in the early stages of recovery?

This second installment on the role of emotion the recovery process will focus on the first 30-90 days of sobriety. The truth is, most addicts return to drugs and drinking when sobriety becomes too stressful for them. Therefore, teach them to deal with their feelings in a healthy manner greatly improves their chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

A. The physiological impact on emotions.

    The first few days without drugs and alcohol are characterized by disjointed thinking and emotional upheaval. Newly sober people tend to be very anxious and uptight. This is due, in a large part , to the fact that alcohol and drug use have caused their bodies to be depleted of many important neurochemicals, like endorphines, that contribute to a normal state of well-being. Crack and cocaine users especially, experience anxiety, abnormal fears and difficulty sleeping. They can be short tempered and they have short attention spans.

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The Emotional Dimension of Recovery, Part 1Premium Content

Part Two

A Christian friend once told me, "Well, why even talk about feelings, because you can't trust them anyway. The Bible says, Have faith and don't trust your feelings." Well, that's not really a healthy attitude at all, because feelings are real. Denial is all of these repressed and stuffed emotions, and part of sobriety and getting better means that all of a sudden all of the pain that has been pushed down. And anger, and everything else that has been there, is going to start rising to the surface, and these people will start feeling depression and loneliness and fear. And we need to be prepared to hear those things and to respond to them in a supportive, kind way. It doesn't mean that -- and some of those feelings are not accurate at all, but still need to be respected and accepted. It has to be there.

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Understanding and Overcoming LonelinessPremium Content

I have been in counselling now for many years, working with God, my counsellors and myself with all my might to overcome the scars of the past. Sometimes those scars leave me feeling lonely and longing for someone to be with me. I know I am not the only one.

Many people suffer with loneliness in our society, and many generations. Seniors suffer from loneliness when their spouses dies. Couples suffer loneliness when one partner works extra long hours to make ends meet. Teenagers suffer from loneliness when they cannot make and keep friends. Children are also lonely when, as children do, choose other friends than them for a time. People with disabilities suffer because they are unable to get out into society. And the patients of mental health suffer loneliness in silence, ashamed to tell anybody they are lonely because they fear they will look weak.

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Carrying the Burdens of Your Past?Premium Content

We're commanded in Hebrews 12:1 to "lay aside every weight" so we can "run with patience the race that is set before us." Consider that first command: lay aside every weight, every burden that slows us down in our race forward. If we're dwelling on the past, that means we've stopped running, picked up some weights we were commanded to drop, and are giving them (not God or His commandments and His service) all our attention. No wonder we stop running and even start walking backward. For good reason do race horses wear blinders that force them to look forward, blocking out distractions so they can focus on the race.

Even worse, Hebrews 12:1 continues on into the second verse, explaining what we should be looking at when we run the race "set before us" (set in front of us): "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher ofour faith." If we're looking at the past, we're violating this second command of God's: we're not only picking up weights and burdens we were told to lay aside, to drop to the ground and regard as worthless impediments, but we're not looking at Jesus but rather at those forbidden weights instead. We should be rejoicing that Christ tells us to drop all these weights. Satan's worst enemy is a Christian focused on the future and running his race well.

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Depression and the Recovery ProcessPremium Content

The unrelenting sadness and hopelessness that characterized my experience with depression is something I will never forget. In the grips of depression I often felt paralyzed, not possessing the strength to rise from bed or even to open my eyes in the morning. I felt completely alone, unable to make contact with anyone, not even Almighty God. I lost interest in life and the things that make life special. I became reclusive and withdrawn, not wanting to be with friends I alternated between insomnia and exhaustion. I couldn't concentrate. And always, I felt inexplicably sad. Nothing made me happy. Most frightening of all, I made intricate preparations for my death. 1

This year, 17 million Americans will suffer from depressive illness. In 1988 the General Accounting Office estimated that up to half of the homeless suffer from chronic phychiatric disorders. 2 - many also addicted to alcohol and drugs. While severe forms of psychosis are readily recognized, depressive disorders, which are more subtle, can be overlooked as factors that prevent program participants from moving forward in recovery.

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Christmas Prayers & BlessingsPremium Content

Here is a series of Christmas prayers and blessings. Included are prayers for a season of grief, sorrow or loss and for those who struggle at this special time of year.

Christmas Dinner Prayer

In the peace of this season our spirits are joyful:
With the beasts and angels,
the shepherds and stars,
with Mary and Joseph we sing God's praise.
By your coming may the hungry be filled with good things,
and may our table and home be blessed.
Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive from Thy bounty
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Quilter from Texas

Quilter from Texas

Emotions & Recovery: Grief Premium Content

A.Addicts are both victims and victimizers.
Anyone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol leaves behind them a trail of destruction. This could include everything from harm done to loved ones – both physically and emotionally, as well as violence and criminal activity of all sorts in which many become involved. On the other hand, we need to recognize that the majority of addicts have, themselves, grown up in painful, dysfunctional families. In homes where one or both of the adults are out of control because of addiction or other life-consuming problem, they we subjected to a daily diet of physical and emotional trauma.

Effective rescue mission recovery programs recognize the importance of helping addicts to repent of their sin and become responsible the wrong they have done. Steps 4 & 5 used with Steps 8 & 9 are practical guides for helping recovery addicts to gain a clear conscience and to take the extra step of restoring broken relationships and acknowledging to other the hurt they have caused them. This is dealing with the "victimizer."

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Expressing Emotions in Eating Disorder RecoveryPremium Content

In eating disorder recovery, you might discover that you have difficulty identifying and expressing your emotions. Perhaps you stuff your feelings because they make you uncomfortable or you simply have never learned what to do with them. But as you find ways to identify and express your emotions, this can help you in your eating disorder recovery.

You may have grown up in a home where you didn't feel it was safe to express your feelings or perhaps you met people later in life who gave the impression that you should not show your emotions with them. Maybe others have been angry or critical toward you regarding the expression of your feelings. Your parents may have been so uncomfortable with emotions themselves that they never learned healthy ways to express them so they were never able to model this for you. It may be that they were okay with emotions, but for some reason you still got the impression that you should keep your feelings to yourself.

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Resting in His Righteousness

Have you been struggling with feelings of despair, fear, and anxiety? Do you think you let God down so He cannot possibly love you anymore?

I remember when I was so paralyzed by fear that I could not get out of bed in the morning. What seemed like endless nights tormented me as I lay awake through torturous hours filled with anxiety and loneliness. Yet the shafts of early morning light were only painful reminders to me that another long, empty day was ahead of me. I had lost the ability to look at anything through a positive lens, and my incessant negativity had driven away the few friends that I had known. I longed to be near the Lord, but I did not know how to reach Him. For I had given up on the promise of God found in Hebrews 13:5 Amplified Bible:

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!].

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