Depression Marathon Blog

My photo
Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Faith Without Works is Dead

It was originally coined by Bill W. in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Faith without works is dead. A strange sentence conveying a simple concept; take action.

No matter how strongly I believe in AA's primary concept, that my higher power can do for me what I cannot do for myself, if I don't take action I will go nowhere. Similarly, no matter how much I believe that my current state of depression will pass, if I do nothing I am dead.

Faith without works is dead. I have faith that this current dive into morasity will eventually pass. After nearly 9 years of battling, I've at least learned that. It will pass. All of the previous black holes have spit me out. All of the previous morose seas have lifted me ashore. I may not know how long it will take, but it will pass. I will survive. I have faith in that.

I will survive, but only if I take part in my recovery. Faith without works means I cannot sit on my ass and wait. I have to keep moving forward, no matter how hard moving may currently feel. I can pray. Praying is helpful. But prayer alone may mean longer misery than I care to swallow. Action feels better. By taking action, I feel some control over what otherwise feels uncontrollable--my depression. I am a participant, rather than a spectator, in my own recovery.

So today I took some action. Despite the moroseness, heaviness and despair, I put one foot in front of the other and moved. I went to my appointments. I made my phone calls. I did laps in the pool, and I took in a meeting. I didn't feel like doing any of those things. I wanted to stay in bed. I wanted to wait. After all, I know this will eventually pass. But faith without works is dead. I'd rather participate than wait, no matter how difficult that sometimes seems.


Mohican said...

Wow, good for you. It usually takes me more than a week just to get off the couch in situations like this. Keep pushing, getting started is the hardest part.

Valerie said...


I just want to grab you through blogosphere and fix you myself!

I am so sorry you're struggling...again or still, it doesn't matter.

It is such a hard place to be in. A place I've been in myself. It is literally so hard to remember anything, let alone remembering that you will survive. All you see is darkness, cold, aloneness....

I am rooting for you. I have been for nearly a year now and I will continue to do so for as many as it takes for you to be able to live your life again.

etta said...

Thank you both for your constant support! I really, really appreciate your comments.

Paraic said...

As someone who has Bipolar I can empathize with what you are going through.I know the feeling of slipping into a black hole and feeling powerless to stop it. But I think your approach is good and you have the right attitude for minimizing the intensity and duration of this dip in mood. I agree it's better to take action than just to sit and wait for the spirit to move you. I believe God likes to delegate.