As an addict involved in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, I had to dig deep to find and embrace my inner Mormon. What follows is my journal from this point forward.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression and Choice

As usual, Matt Walsh blogged about things that upset some of my family and others, gaining inspiration from him, felt to defend. 

I read his most recent blog. Perhaps in a time when we mourn a person who has been such a part of memories, we find it difficult to hear what he said regarding Robin William's suicide, but his words are true and his compassion is not absent. I have chosen to contemplate depression rather than the most extreme act from it, suicide. 

Depression is a difficult problem made worse by the fact that a big solution is often taken away by the symptoms. Depression is isolating. Those experiencing it feel disconnected and usually disconnect even more. Unfortunately, it is a problem that cannot be solved on your own. It is a disorder that requires others to resolve, but hides the sufferer from others. Whatever triggers depression, it almost always ends up a result of relationship problems or made worse through relationship problems. 

Ultimately the sufferer must choose to connect. They must elect to not continue in their own thoughts. They need to engage in healthy relationships. For some, that choice must be made repeatedly, even daily. That is found in supportive family and friends. I fear superstars like Williams find those two commodities in short supply.

As a person dealing with both bipolar disorder and ADHD as determined by multiple tests, I understand some of the difficulties of mental illness, the sense of futility, the feeling of being isolated and somehow too different for most. I understand feelings shame and futility, and yes even the feeling of having no say in my actions even as I committed them.

Over time and through professional help, loving family, and group meetings, I have come to understand that choice is there. When Matt Walsh suggests depression is both mental and spiritual, I agree. I would also go further and say that the sense of choice is more spiritual than mental.

That one can become aware of the feeling, acknowledge it for what it is, accept that they want that which they shouldn't and admit that there is a choice is spoken in scriptural terms as confession. 

Confession is not just to admit you did something. Confession means to admit you want to do something even if what you want is contrary to your beliefs, or your common sense. 

When one can do this and acknowledge it, even if only to themselves they are able to separate the feeling from the action. Phychologist call this mindfulness, but their term does not mean they invented the idea. It is firmly rooted in the judeo-christian-biblical practice of confession. 

When one takes this idea further and confesses not just to themselves, but to their Lord and God, one not only feels the separation, one experiences the sense of power to make the better choice. Choice is a spiritual concept. Feeling like you have none is a satanic deception.

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