Depression Marathon Blog

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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!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Spiritual Un-fitness

I think my spiritual condition is a bit deconditioned. In my program of recovery, we strive for a "spiritual awakening," which according to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous means "a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism." It is also described as a "profound alteration in our reaction to life," and as an "awareness of a power greater than ourselves." I guess two out of three isn't bad, but on a daily basis it is the "profound alteration in reaction to life" which keeps me sober and sane. And that's exactly what seems to be lacking lately.

Maintaining a fit spiritual condition is crucial to my recovery and my contentment. It is the only comfortable way for me to be in this world today. When I am spiritually fit, I am centered, humble, grateful, generous, and even serene. Spiritual fitness means I am savoring one thought at one time. My mind does not race. I am not blaming or irresponsible. I see my part in all my interactions and strive to treat others as I wish to be treated; kindly, gently, and respectfully.

In the past few days, I've had a couple of experiences which, while they may not seem big or important, indicate I am less than spiritually fit. First I raised my middle finger in anger at a motorist who nearly ran me off the road on which I was running. That was yesterday. Today I did something I knew was not likely allowed, but I did it anyway, and then got angry when I was told what I was doing was, in fact, not allowed. In each case I stewed about the incident long after it had passed. Luckily I didn't, but I could have easily stewed myself into a roiling boil. Voluntarily introducing discord into my life is my definition of spiritual un-fitness.

Now I could write several paragraphs explaining the details of each incident, but that would only highlight my spiritual deconditioning. Explanations would require me to rationalize my actions, blame others for theirs, and reinforce anything but kind and gentle behavior. Instead I need to look at my role in each situation, analyze my actions and reactions, and figure out how to get back on the right path. That will likely require a call to my sponsor and the reciting of a few prayers.

So that's what I'm about to do. Call my sponsor. The fact that I recognized my behavior after only two agitating incidents is a hopeful sign. Perhaps I haven't fallen too hard. Hopefully I can soon get back on the beam of spiritual fitness. Life will certainly be simpler when I regain my balance.


Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Kudos to you for recognizing a need for improved spiritual fitness after just the two incidents. "Voluntarily introducing discord into my life"--yep, I do that sometimes, and it's not a very wise thing for me to do. Discord upsets my balance and leads me away from spiritual fitness, too. Thanks for an insightful, thought-provoking post!

jim said...

Always do for yourself what you need to do. But maybe don't be so hard on yourself either, for getting irritated, pissed off etc. You are human and its okay.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog often and find it to be of some solace. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given is that depression/anxiety doesn't happen to bad people. I am rooting for you.