Friday, August 14, 2009


I met with a sponsee this morning. (I do most mornings...)

He has a sponsee that had been chronically depressed for several months (pretty much since he got married, though that seems to not really be the problem). He has been to doctors and seems to be doing everything "right". My sponsee (the one trying to help) just came out of a several months long depression - in the middle of which he came into my fold. His depression was finally alleviated when he adjusted when he took some of his medications, by dropping caffeine, and starting into a new 4th step.

As we commiserated about how difficult it is to help us when we're in the grips of depression, I was reminded of one of my favorite Zen sayings:

"Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water."

There's just something compelling and right in this.

My whole life, I've expected "it will be better when...."

This is an old idea, a lie that has been slow to die and remains deadly to me yet today. I presume my moods have something to do with whether I'm on the path that I'm supposed to be on and, guess what, I make all sorts of interesting decisions and suffer the consequences .

I'm increasingly convinced that the whole thing around depression, from a spiritual side (there's a medical side of which I'm not qualified to express any opinion), is surrender. Seems it's always something that I'm unwilling or unable to give up. In many (most?) cases, I can only do this with God's help.

I hope that he can eventually have some relief.


Mary Christine said...

Depression is such a tricky thing. I have a long history.

Scott W said...

I took anti-depressants when I was drinking. God knows what would have happened if I hadn't been taking them. I am lucky to not need them now. I know a lot of people that struggle with it.

Syd said...

My mother had biological depression. I don't think that the spiritual side would have cured her but it might have made things easier for her in her life.