Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Choose Your Weather

Well, maybe we can't always decide how we feel, but we can decide what we are going to do with those feelings. Do we let them set the tone of the entire day, or do we choose a different outcome?

I'm feeling pretty good today. I did not feel happy yesterday morning, but I chose to do the things necessary to alter the mood.

Don't let a problem, a mood disorder, or the weather dictate the outcome of your day - or your life. Feel the feelings you have, but do what you need to do to bring the sunshine back to your face! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Here I go again...

It's happened again. I've let myself gradually sink down into the Vortex; but, I have no intention of staying here. I've been here for two days now and that is two days too long!

To get out, I have to start with the basics:

  1. Seal up the Vortex: the current Vortex is two couches pushed together to form a four walled couch/bed (a.k.a., the Boat) from which my daughter and I watched a movie. (We first did this when she was little.) But then, yesterday the Boat became the Vortex; and it needs to be sealed up - pushing the couches back into place and putting the blankets and pillows away.  
  2. Take a shower: yes, dear friends, I haven't showered since Saturday - granted, I haven't been outside the house since Saturday, but still. This is one of the biggest symptoms of oncoming depression - lack of self-care.
  3. Get dressed in street clothes: no t-shirts with pajama pants.
  4. Fix hair and put on make-up: this is not to impress anyone, just to help seal the Vortex further.
  5. Get out of the house: I will go to the grocery store; walk the dog; and go to class this evening.
  6. Reach out to another person: thus, this blog. I am reaching out to you.

On another note, I may be onto something about the Vortex. 
At the suggestion of my psychiatrist, I began keeping a mood log, and have already noticed a pattern. A period of good times and excitement (e.g., family visiting for the 4th of July, attending a great conference in Williamsburg) is followed shortly after by a dip into the Vortex. I know it is scientifically too soon to tell if there is a true correlation, but just something to note.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wellness Part II: Social

{Waaaay back on April 26, I posted Wellness Part I: Physical. As promised, here (finally!) is Part II...}

One of the most critical factors to both my recovery from alcohol addiction and my depression/anxiety recovery has been social connections. Having supportive family, friends, and spouse, and connecting with others going through the same issues has helped me break out of the vicious cycle of isolation and has given me the strength to keep recovering. 

But what do you do if you don't have such a network already in place? Reach out and find one:

1.  The internet, as you know, is full of resources; and support groups abound. Here are just a very few of those out there:
  • Addiction Support Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA):
Narcotics Anonymous (NA):
Gamblers Anonymous (GA):
  •  Depression  & Anxiety Support Groups

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):


Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):

2.  Check out the resources in your community as well. Churches and hospitals have support groups for addiction and mental illness; primary care doctors have resources at their finger tips; and colleges and schools have support groups and resources available in their counseling centers. Just ask.

3.  Drop me a note on Facebook, (, leave a comment here, or email me at I'd love to connect with you!

Whatever you do, don't allow yourself to stay isolated. Connections strengthen us and provide the framework upon which solid recovery is built.