I am having trouble managing my thoughts and feelings with so many of my resources closed. I’m blaming my lack of motivation on not having face to face meetings. And my recovery feels stalled.
In SMART Recovery, I have learned that at the heart of recovery lies their 4-Point Program. My journey has taken me from point one to point three.
The four-points are:
- Building and Maintaining Motivation
- Coping with Urges
- Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
- Living a Balanced Life,
I can understand this and have embraced the four-point program to understand how I can move forward with MDD. Seeing where I have been and where I am going makes it easier to achieve progress. My goal is not perfection, at least now it is not.
Epictetus, an ancient Greek philosopher wrote, “People are disturbed not by things but by their view of things.”
I have been thinking a lot about this concept. I cannot control the pandemic, but I can control my attitude towards it. My view of things is that I can go to work as an essential employee and return home safely. Is that a 100% guarantee? Of course not. But stressing and worrying excessively about catching the virus is, for me, not worth the energy.
My progress since getting out of the hospital has been to move from point one to point three.
Yet recently, I feel I am sliding back to point one. Where is my motivation? Having just gotten a taste of what feelings are all about, I am now packing them up again, just like in the past. My enthusiasm for change has waned, and my efforts to live a balanced life with depression are on hold.
There are many valid reasons why my motivation is being challenged.
But the reality is, I am allowing this to take place. I am not using the tools and resources I have collected over the past year. I am back to trying to figure this out on my own. Hitting the wall was why I made the painful decision to face my depression and to seek professional help.
Now I simply do not have the motivation to help myself.
The uncertainty of the future, as we all deal with the Coronavirus Pandemic, has me not caring about myself. I am resigned to the bumbling efforts of my government to handle this. I am more encouraged by my state governor’s plans to minimize the impact of the virus.
But blaming my lack of motivation on the Pandemic is naïve and counterproductive.
I need to move forward, to be motivated to change my outlook about my disease. Having made so much progress last year, I am at a loss as to why I am stuck. OK, so maybe I have some ideas. With the pandemic, I am no longer having face to face meetings with a therapist. My current dose of Prozac may be too high, but I have not scheduled an appointment to talk about it.
On Our Own, my local Peer Support facility is closed for now.
While I am speaking with my Peer Advocate by phone once a week, the chemistry is not the same as a face to face meeting. And our conversations feel more superficial then substantive. For some reason, I am not bringing up biggest concerns over the phone.
If I want to be in control of my destiny, then I need to take control of my thoughts and actions.
Reestablishing my basic motivation to learn all I can about depression is where I need to start. Without this, I am just wandering around the house, bumping into things. My path is not clear, so whatever I do or Do NOT (do) is OK. This muddled thinking is costing me precious time that I could be spending in my productive pursuits.
Asking for help has never been one of my strong suits.
Depression discourages that, because it wants to be my only friend. And for 43+ years, I bought into that, pushing aside everyone in my path. I have cultivated 1,000’s of friends, but only in the broadest sense.
So how do I get back to step three?
I thought managing thoughts, feelings, and behavior was where the work was. But now, I am back to my pre-hospital lack of motivation. And it is scaring and frustrating me. I want to move forward again. My future is in the doing, not in getting ready to do.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
Your comments are always appreciated.