AA’s 12 Steps to a Successful Recovery from Alcoholism (Analysis)

A guy with the head down in the table while having a glass of alcohol in from
From Syda Productions

Being an alcoholic is firmly tied with feelings of sadness and depression, what an alcoholic is trying to do – in a way – is shutting down the brain so the emotional pain his living with, becomes more bearable and in that way gets to be “happier”

Problems – bigger problems – arise when alcohol consumption cannot be controlled and is the first or only response to all life’s complications. We could identify alcoholism in this way.

AA is a world-renown organization that helps people overcome their addiction to alcohol.

The way they do it is with the completion of 12 steps that serve as checkpoints in the journey of achieving a free-alcoholic life.

Pretty simple to understand, I must say, it’s way too simple of a concept considering the success AA is having since 1935 in all over the world.

But why? How is it that in 12 steps someone can be liberated from being alcoholic?

Which Are The AA 12 Steps? Why They Work so Well?

You can visit and review the 12 steps and their 12 traditions on their official website.

Another resourceful and trustworthy website in which you can learn a lot about this organization and alcoholism generally is this one.

These are the 12 steps:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

We have at least get to know in some way the step of “recognizing our problems, asking for forgiveness, and helping other people with this problem”

At first glance, we could say the reason for its success is that helps us establishing and keeping a deeper relationship with God. However, to understand how everything works, I’d like to give a thorough analysis of the AA’s steps and why they work remarkably well.

A Deeper Look Into The AA’s 12 Steps.

Let’s try to assign one or a few keywords to each step and from there give my own perspective of meaning, importance, positive effect, and/or the efficacy to improve the capacity of remaining and getting out of alcoholism.

  1. Problem Recognition – Only after we are been able to identify something as a problem, we can start looking for solutions to that problem. Otherwise, we are doomed to live with it for the rest of our lives.
  2. Awareness of God – We realize that there is a God with the power to restore us. This also implies that we recognize we are just humans and as human beings, we have flaws. Accepting that God can heal us from alcoholism makes us accept our human conditions and limits by default.
  3. Accepting God – By acknowledging that there is a God that can save us from alcoholism, (or any addiction or emotional/mental health problem) our next logical step would be welcoming his help by accepting him in our lives because he knows better.
  4. Looking in the Mirror – The need to been able to look at ourselves and recognize all our flaws is imperative. When we understand and recognize our wrongs is when we can start the process of healing. This one is very similar to the 1st step but somewhat broader and deeper.
  5. Confession – Not the kind of confession to a pastor that represents the authority of God (according to some religions). Confessing our wrongs in emotions, thinking, and acting directly to God, to ourselves, and to other people, creates a strong willingness inside us to change that for the better.
  6. Redemption – After putting our mistakes and faulty character traits in the table, we also start to expect for God to get rid of them.
  7. Humbly Asking God – I think it’s very important to denote the word humbly. We are not making a demand, we are not commanding or requesting with authority (as the Law of Attraction has taught us). We are recognizing our condition of being inferior to God and it’s Him in his power that restitutes us.
  8. A List of Transgressed Persons – This list is for us to plan and prepare ourselves to ask for forgiveness to those people we have hurt by being prisoners of our bad habits and harmful behaviors.
  9. Make Direct Amends – If no more injuries are made, we must make peace with those people. This can help to erase any long time grudge they could have towards you. This only should work if we are being sincere in apologizing with which previous steps help us preparing us.
  10. Continuation – This step’s purpose is to train our awareness at all times of our weaknesses. We’d be more conscious to admit we were wrong right there in the situation and would have more self-control whenever we feel we are going stray.
  11. Prayer – Opening and keeping communication with God by prayer is the way we can understand His will for us and develop the strength to abide by it.
  12. Practice and Preach – After following these steps we have a moral obligation to ourselves in continuing practicing our new mindset and the moral obligation to help others awakening to a new healthier lifestyle.

Conclusion

It’s curious to me that anybody who knows the AA’s 12 steps without being involved (by movies for example) usually doesn’t know how important is God and how much of an involvement He has in the whole process.

Reading and reviewing these steps as a whole, we can get to understand better the nuances at their core.

Acknowledge you need help, search and accept the help of God, have personal responsability of your faults, ask for forgiveness with humility, be alert, keep being close with God and help other people.

There is a lot of different ideas and threads to follow that I’d like to pursue sometime in the future about this topic, like how taking these steps with a group of encouraging people, makes a big difference in accomplishing the goal.

For the time being, I’ll conclude that the AA’s organization and their 12 steps work with an amazing success is because it helps in developing a stronger relationship with God, ourselves, and overall with people.

Vices, The Longtime Friends of Depression

A man standing in it's logic while vices try to catch him.
From Alberto Andrei Rosu in shutterstock.com

What is a Vice?

Having depression is hard enough to deal with for one life, but sometimes that depression causes people to have some really negative habits they can’t easily change.

A vice is precisely a deep ingrained habit of doing something harmful to our body, mind and soul that we have a hard time changing or stoping it.

Once we understand why we do it and how we have fallen for it, doesn’t necessarily mean that we can suppress, eliminate, or at least control it with less hardship.

What we lack to understand is that this is not just an issue of knowing what’s happening, this is something that needs to be tackled from an emotional perspective in order for us to be able to change those habits.

Why Vices Help Dig a Deeper Hole Into Depression?

A person trying to quit smoking says to himself “Ok, I’ll have these 3 last cigarettes for today and starting tomorrow I’ll quit smoking once and for all”

Next day comes and if that person started with a strong resolution it probably will resist the urge to smoke for that day and a few more days until that craving becomes so strong it feels like a need and can’t be controlled any longer.

This is why he fails in quitting and because he feels being a failure he falls into the habit of smoking once again, making his self-trust and self-worth take a hit, which will set him to dig a deeper hole into being depressed.

Being depressed creates the “need” to search some sort of relief and that’s how a person picks its own preferred poison that provides the instant and too fleeting satisfaction.

Quite a simple way to explain how the vicious cycle works and why it’s so difficult to break it.

What Can I Do to Overcome a Vice and Feel Less Depressed?

Vices do provide some relief indeed but because of the nature of the relief, we can say this is a short term solution for a long term problem that surely will show us how it will backfire when we see our life from a holistic perspective.

Big problems like these are difficult to handle but I think there are some simple practical techniques you can use to manage the craving and even eliminate these negative habits.

For instance, in the situation of trying to quit smoking, instead of using the willpower to stop, remove the resistance and accept the feelings of desiring that and continue smoking cigarettes.

Now comes the tricky part of the equation, rather than opening a pack and have a cigarette to appease that craving right there, select one place selling cigarettes 5 miles away from home and walk there to buy just one (this is key), then go back walking home and smoke it as you please.

Repeat the process of walking 10 miles again before smoking another one.

Practicing this for at least a few weeks will completely change how you feel about the cravings of any vice you may have. And will also have the positive side effect of doing some exercise.

Conclusion

Despite how good it feels at the moment, a vice sooner or later will backfire in life by manifesting conflicts and struggle in your relationships, financial situation, career, personal development, physical and mental health.

As a vice foster a negative self-image over time and only helps to relieve stress momentarily, it won’t help to create in us the confidence and mindset to fulfill the need for happiness and accomplishment in the long run.

There are several simple – but not easy to apply – practices and mind-tricks to help you achieve a free-depression-life more easily.

While I know that this is not a one size fit all method to control a vice (either for the kind of vice or the particular situation of the person) I hope you can put in good use the one that I’ve shared here and that it can serve you well in your journey.

How Believing in God and/or Something Bigger Can Help Fight Depression

A man seeng the stars
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Sometimes we like to wonder about this vast space containing all the stars we see, all the planets, solar systems, black holes, galaxies, and who knows what else other things we even can’t start to imagine.

When we invest our gray matter into this kind of thinking, we would inevitably ask ourselves about how everything on this tiny planet we call earth, feels meaningless.

I know it’s not encouraging and it can even sound a little sad… but this is one of the conclusions from that train of thought.

Going in this same line of thinking we could even get depressed about how pointless can feel our actions, experiences, relationships, and even our own life itself.

In fact, there are people who believe because of this and that we came out randomly from little microscopic organisms after millions of years, is getting people angry/depressed and starting mass shootings.

I’m not taking these concepts from a hat, you can follow this link and do your own quick research if you want to know more.

Reading about these things and letting our minds wander a little more, we could see the logic but I’m not completely convinced about this being the reason for the increase of mass shootings.

Just consider this, why is it that most mass shootings occurs in USA?

In all over the world, it has been for quite a time that people have been told and taught that God doesn’t exist but the vast majority of people deciding to go outside with a gun and start to kill other people are apparently in the American continent.

Maybe I’m getting a little off the topic and I don’t want to get conspiranoid with this, but what I see is that not believing that we are being taken care of by God it’s something brushing the line of being depressive for our sake.

And that’s something that I have made peace with!

Personally I believe that our actions, our experiences, and the way we interact with each other in this world, (for better or worse) has meaning and regardless of us not understanding the reason why, I know there is a why for our existence.

We sometimes think about all of this and when we believe that there is an all-powerful God instead of getting depressed, we don’t get discouraged by these thoughts and we strive to live and experience life in it’s fullest according (in some part) to our definition of it at that moment in our life.

The reason behind this it’s that besides believing God is taking care of us, it’s because we also believe that he has created us in his image and likeness giving us a soul meant to be joyful, and full of life.

Living and having depression is something far more difficult (or it should be) when we believe in God than believing in natural selection and that we came out of chance.

It is very likely that you already know the obvious reason why this works. I will mention it anyway for those of you that are not 100% sure of what I’m implying here.

The reason is believing in God gives us purpose in life. We also feel gratitude in our hearts for receiving life and appreciate everything that surrounds us on a deeper level.

If there is something that I want you to take from all of this, is this;

When you look up to the stars and wonder how big all of this is and how little is this world, and when you think that your experiences, relationships, and your soul are just meaningless, when you start to feel depressed and overwhelmed by the futility of your life in this vast space, just remember to be grateful and realize there is a purpose for everything that happens and everything that is.

Believing in God makes it a lot easier for us to be grateful and finding purpose in our life.

Gamification, a Tool to Beat Depression

A kid playing Donkey Kong Arcade
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Some weeks ago I stumbled upon a certain word that grabbed my interest (and is still keeping it) that I didn’t know about but in a certain way already had used throughout my life.

I’m talking about “Gamification” which on a simple definition is just the “action to game” something.

Nowadays is very well used among online marketers in ads for us to engage in playing some sort of game so they can redirect us to the webpage and download what they are promoting there (which ironically tends to be an app for a game).

A clear and easy way to use a form of gamification is when we create a scoring system around the completion of certain activities to ensure we achieve some sort of bigger goal.

Let’s see it from another perspective.

By using educational gamification a teacher can use elements of a game to teach students while maintaining an improved sense of enjoyment and hence the engagement and learning/teaching experience will be more smooth and effective.

How to Beat Depression by Using Gamification

Beating depression is not something we can do “accidentally”, we cannot just go with our lives “BAU” expecting that in one day depression will just disappear (that’s pretty obvious, right?)

What is not so obvious is how to battle that depression if we cannot fully trust our minds.

I mean, where would we start? What can we do?

Being honest, I’m not an expert in using this tool of gamification but at least I know where you could start using it to stack the table in your favor against depression.

The one thing I would recomend is to use a list of the things you need to do in a day (and/or week) and assign some fair points to the tasks.

I’ve written about how to use lists before, you can go and check it out here:

Once you start rolling the days completing at least the bare minimum you could add some more difficult tasks to the list that can have (though little) a meaningful and positive impact in your life over time.

Doing it like this will like beating the game… the game or recovering back your life from the claws of depression.

Conclusion

There are more things to know about gamification and this technique (or way of thinking) is very deep. And I know this can sound too simple to use and be considered something effective to fight depression, but in fact, the way to apply gamification is very simple and I truly believe in making things simpler to understand.

Depression is not something that you can defeat overnight, it is well known that time will be necessary to heal this condition and improve your life, that’s why I think using gamification as a way to see this fight like a game you can win, could create a new perspective on how to deal with depression and lastly to succeed in the game.

The Fear Factor in Difficult Times

What Causes Fear in Us?

Two fingers in a hug seeking comfort against fear and depression.
Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

The heart starts to pump blood at a faster pace, our hands and body get humid by sweating, the hearing and seeing senses get more alerts to our surroundings as the brain sends the signal to gather more info from it.

We know very well that stitch in the spine and that shivering in our nerves when we confront something that is well… scary.

Fear can be triggered by a lot of things but we usually know fear when we get stunned in front of something that we don’t know what to expect and can create some kind of harm to us.

Saying it in simple ways, our primitive fight or flight response gets activated because we are perceiving something dangerous nearby and we need to respond accordingly.

It would be a way too long of a shot to define what causes us to feel fear in a 100% accurate way in all situations but we know when we feel it and we know that we want to avoid the situation so we can “survive” another day.

Healthy Fears & Unhealthy Fears

Knowing that fear works as some sort of mechanism to keep our survival, we can conclude with a simple look that fear is something healthy to have. Right?

Well… yes and no.

Let me clarify this better.

In the sense previously described then yes!

But fear is unhealthy to have when A) there’s no real threat or harmful situation to our being and B) we hold to the feeling longer than we should.

For instance, I would say that a lot of phobias enter in the category of “no real threat” as examples I can cite:

Carcinophobia (fear of developing cancer when we don’t have any signs to it), Coulrophobia (fear of clowns), Trypophobia (fear of small holes conglomerated in clusters), or the #1 phobia in America according to Washingtonpost since 2014 Glossophobia (fear of public speaking).

It is unhealthy to have fear of something that cannot represent real harm to us because our safety is not being compromised (at least not in a physical way), hence it doesn’t support our “drive to thrive in life”.

The Side Effects Created by Fear

Now, things could get even worse when we hold to some kind of fear longer than we should.

But why?

Very simple, when the threat (or the belief of the threat) has already passed we still think that danger is nearby and we don’t go back to our relaxed normal way of being.

The sense of alertness provoked by fear to respond to danger is good. However, when we are overly cautious and alert most of the time it can create anxiety, irritability, concentration problems, insomnia (troubles with your sleep), and depression.

In a physical way, an unhealthy fear can lead to problems with our digestion, fertility, weakens our immune system and even can accelerate our aging and lead us to premature death.

Fear can be humanity’s most deadly poison (or virus) in all history and a lot of us are still learning how to deal with it. Even worse, there’s no vaccine or cure to fear and the stress it creates.

The Present Situation with COVID-19

A don't panic message with a Cloth Face Covering to avoid the faste spread of the Coronavirus.
Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

If you look up the news, the statistics and the information that is being spread about COVID-19 without being in constant “panic” or being terrified by them, you should be aware that to this bug you are summing a weakened immune system and all the problems fear brings.

Better it would be to turn off the news for the sake of your health and whole being. (I know it sounds counterintuitive but you can see my point).

Listen, I’m not saying you should not be afraid of anything and be courageous to everything, but I’m saying that we should not make things worse by amplifying problems by holding a feeling of fear.

We must learn how to let go of fear! That’s the key.

Learn to be cautious by feeling fear of something but don’t hold to that feeling longer than must be done after it has accomplished its purpose.

What I think is the antagonist feeling of fear is not courage or bravery, I think we can defeat the fear of any kind by having gratitude of everything in our lives (even the perceived negative situations).

I hope and wish the best for you and your beloved ones in this difficult time we are living due to this Virus and also that can find the way to be grateful for everything in your life.

See you soon!

COVID-19 x CONFINEMENT x DEPRESSION

COVID-19 is Dangerous

Washing hands to battle against COVID-19
From Vova Krasilnikov – Pexels

Lot of people, (almost everybody) is submerged at the expectations of what will happen in the world with the recent menace that COVID-19 has created.

This virus has created such big troubles not only in our lives in a sense of health but also in the economy, our lifestyle and our social interactions.

We are the generation that is fighting and is going to survive one of the biggest epidemics in the entire world and to this date, in the entire history.

Can you imagine how big this is of a game-changer?

But the thing is that with everything we are going through now, with all the lives lost so far and the ones that are going to be lost in the near future, with the economy being “stopped” as it is today… When everything finishes it won’t feel like it has truly finished.

We (humanity) were not prepared to handle this situation effectively as we would like to think we were.

Corona Viruses are dangerous and we need to take the necessary precautions to ensure we don’t get affected by this new one.

Being at Confinement… For Our Own Good

One of these precautions is to be confined (reclused, restricted, etc,) in our home to avoid and delay the fast propagation of the virus. Probably the best way to fight COVID-19 at this moment is social isolation.

The reason I wanted to talk about the importance of confinement and the present danger of this virus is because I’ve seen some people taking this situation not seriously enough as people who should understand COVID-19 is no joke.

Don’t believe what I’m saying?

Well, just do a quick search on Social Media, Google and/or Youtube about the new challenges, ways to pass the day, finding things to do in this new leisure time (for us that are not working), to grasp a sense of how boring people (in general) is feeling with the whole situation.

I mean, I get that we are not used to be in home all day long without the usual freedom to even go out the corner and crossing the street.

You probably have seen numerous movies you wanted to see, cathed up with some series, anime (if you like them too like me), finished books and played a lot of board games with your family. And that’s great! But is this the most important thing to be doing and thinking about?

Is entertainment the most important thing we should be focusing right now?

Depression and Fear Are the Sidekicks of COVID-19

While some people are feeling bored with this, lot of other people are getting sick and dying, lot of them feel hopeless because they don’t know how to confront this bug.

There are reasons to be afraid and even feel depressed, but let us remember the reasons why we must not feel this way and as difficult as it may be, find the gratitude in everything that comes in life and not to make it worse by spreading fear and feeling frightened.

Fear is the most fast-spreading and deadly virus in all history of humanity by the way…

Better to feel bored than afraid and in despair against this Pandemic. That’s true! But it is also true that being healthy doesn’t mean we should ignore the feelings of pain and uncertainty that the entire world is living by the COVID-19.

Another point I want to add is that this holy week is almost finishing and look up how we have spent these days. Right!! Instead of going out to the beach, traveling and taking the weekend off for pleasurable activities, must of us have spent it been confined at home…

The Catholic Church must be feeling proud that this Holy week the world stayed at home praying and in introspection 😅

Conclusion

My point with all of this is to create some conscience about the necessity of knowing ourselves better and use our leisure time for more productive things.

While we may feel like there is no hope, we should remember the feelings of fear and depression don’t make things easier (but worse) to bear the situation and we should feel grateful for our life.

Doing some introspection, exercising ourselves at home and using our leisure time to learn and master new skills, will help big time to overcome all feelings of fear, depression and boredom.

Easy to say but not easy to do and the difficulty level gets to the extreme when we are in a situation like this COVID-19.

I want to end this post with some thought of reflection when difficult times knock at the door.

Hope You’re Doing Well. Stay Strong!!

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” 

– Doe Zantamata

Why Neurotransmitters Can Help to Fight Depression

Let me start by defining what is a neurotransmitter.

They are the molecules that are in charge of sending and receiving the messages between neurons or neurons to muscles.

In simple words, we can say they are the little messengers of our brain and body chemical data.

Now, let me continue with why those little guys have an important role to fight depression.

When a neurotransmitter delivers a message to a neuron some chemical reactions are produced in our body and/or brain. Those reactions are what lastly can change our mood toward something.

The Neurotransmitters of Happiness

There are four that are identified with the feelings of happiness, joy, satisfaction and contentment these are known as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin (EDSO).

I learned this from Simon Sinek who explains it in an excellent way how this works.

It’s 45:50 mins long (maybe too long for some of you) but every minute of the video is worth it!

Did you watch the video?

I understand if you don’t, but as I said, it has a lot of value!

Basically he talks about the importance of taking certain actions and what kind of results we can get if we get this well-balanced.

Living with depression can be something very draining and tiring of our energy but understanding better this kind of concepts and putting it into practice can have a huge positive impact in the fight against depression.

You may ask, how we can put this into practice? And I may ask you back (and again 😅) did you saw the video I just shared with you?

Something Curious…

After watching something interesting that we like, we cannot help but feel excited about what we’ve learned, even our retention is improved.

We also cannot help but start to theorize and connect things when there is seemingly no connection between those things. (That’s how creativity is born btw).

Something that stuck with me is what was said about the oxytocin neurotransmitter.

For now, I’m going to talk about this one and not others.

We can get oxytocin when we feel the satisfaction of receiving a good deed from others, when we do something good to others and even as a third-party by witnessing that good act done into someone else.

If you have been following me for a time, you already know about an experiment with rice by the late Masaru Emoto that can clearly demonstrate how things are affected by our thoughts. In this case, rice.

Please, check it out if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

By the way, it has been a year (and one month) since I started my own rice experiment and I’m still doing it.

Look up the results so far here…

The words from left to right are in Spanish “hate” and “love”

Now, I have connected both ideas and created my own theory (I haven’t seen and don’t know if someone else has said what I’m about to say).

I think there’s some chance that by giving good or bad thoughts about something in a subconscious way we are using a neurotransmitter that the receiving party (the object which we set our intentions) is picking and reacting accordingly.

Don’t know exactly where I can begin to test and prove the validity of this theory and I don’t want to sound too “esoteric” neither. So don’t take me too seriously on this one as I’m not sure if this is the case (more knowledge and studies into this matter is needed).

Some Final Thoughts…

A neurotransmitter can incentivize, inhibit and or modulate certain actions and behaviors by liberating some chemicals in our brain and body when we engage in some activities.

Addictions and depression can be destroyed if we learn how to balance our chemical reactions.

By doing the right things that liberate oxytocin and the correct neurotransmitters we can improve a lot our condition of being depressed.

Having sincerity in our actions, doing the best we can do in our lives to better our body, mind, and spirit are some of the things we should do and be persistent with.

Magical Words to Win Over Depression

Is it possible we can win over depression with a few words?

Being able to do this, means those words would be worthy of being known as “Magical Words”.

Recently I’ve written another post about how words and our expressed intentions in some way or another, can affect water. As a big percentage of our body composition is water, this implies that we can use words to our advantage or disservice in the fight against depression.

If you are familiar with that post and its content, then you probably would guess what the Magical Words to Win Over Depression are.

But if you haven’t seen it and want to read it…

I want to widen the idea that our intention and beliefs can make wonders to help us beat depression because it would be amazing that with only a few words we can increase dramatically the chances to overcome this mental illness.

What Do We understand for Magic?

Magic is something we define and know as a force that can create, move or destroy something.

Is magic real? I would say is not as real as portrayed in movies and series, (or maybe it is… I don’t know) but the emotions created in us after hearing a beautiful song is something “magical”. And that’s the definition I’m taking of magic in this post.

Maybe you don’t like music, haven’t felt and can’t understand what I’m referring to. In that case, how about an adorable evening with your loved ones? A long time expected kiss with your secret crush? The memorable smile of a stranger that made your day?

Can you see now what I mean by magic?

Supposing that magic exists and it is the emotions created within people that can alter something either for good or for bad.

A Magical Word then would be the word that when expressed will move feelings to make a change in someone.

Simple as that! Right?

And the Magical Words Are…

Magical words that can help us fight and win over depression and mental illnesses are those that help us to change the depressive state depression wants to create within us.

We already know those words! We know they have magical properties but sometimes it is a game changer that someone makes us remember them…

I Love You

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr

It Can Be Done!

“It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.” 
― Richard M. DeVos

That’s Great.

“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.” 
― Angela Watson

Good Job.

“In this world, you do your job, a good job, and that’s what counts.” 
― Francois Nars

Thank You!

“’Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. ” 
― Alice Walker

Just use them everyday with the intention they are conveyed with and although it could take a while to notice the big chance, remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step!

How to Escape the Prison of Depression?

Photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash

What role does depression plays when we are in prison?

I’m not talking about in the literal way of being in jail, as a matter of fact, there are at least three kinds of prisons that I know. There is the prison of the body, the prison of the mind and the prison of your soul.

Can you guess what is the Prison of Depression? Or better yet, how to escape from it?

Let’s first define and talk about the three of them separately to understand better my point of view.

The Prison of the Body

Staying beside 4 walls lying in a bed all day without being able to go outside, is (in a way) what we know to be in jail. We are deprived of our freedom to go out as a punishment.

Depression can make us feel like we are in this kind of prison by playing it’s part when we feel so bad, hopeless, unworthy and sad that we cannot feel enjoyment or any motivation to go outside of our bedrooms or getting up from bed which is even more common than we think.

We are creating our own little prison of the body when we let depression grow stronger everyday. And as depression gets stronger, this prison feels more and more real in our life.

Also, the other way around is true too. By staying there without the capability of going outside, (like being in jail) can affect us negatively and enhance or start to create feelings of being depressed.

Hence, the best way to not feel being in this kind of prison is by going outside even if we don’t feel any motivation to do so.

It would only apply if you’re not in jail of course…

The Prison of the Mind

Understanding and explaining this concept is a little more complicated than the previous one. Hence, I’d like to take the metaphor of a computer and the programs it has to better understand the relationship with depression.

If you think and act in a certain way regarding the situation; like being shy when approaching girls, certainly, you will approach them with a set of beliefs that will make you think and act in that certain way.

Your mind, having the program of “shyness” installed, will run this program when social interactions are happening or are about to happen, you’ll behave accordingly with that program.

Can you see now how Depression plays its part in the prison of your mind?

Depression installs the program of sadness, hopelessness, unworthiness, sorrow, emotional pain, sometimes even self-harm, and suicide ideation.

Mental illnesses and depression can be really harsh to beat. There’s always a glimpse of light but with the darkness and hollowness, it makes us feel, we tend to believe there’s none.

Under depression’s influence, we are being programmed to not see and feel the light.

Feeling incapable of beating depression and getting out of your mind’s prison created by it, is due to not knowing how to fight it because you don’t know yet how to use your available tools to fight efficiently.

The way to get out of this prison starts with knowing what needs to be done!

The Prison of the Soul

Ok, those programs are there and there are times it is good and healthy for them to run. Problems start when they run inappropriately and at all times.

It seems like the only program we can run is the one called “Depression” and there’s no time to run a different one.

Let me ask you this, if there’s a program, who is the programmer?

Programmers are the ones who create and decide what, how and when a program needs to run in the mind for the body to follow accordingly.

With time the programmer doesn’t need to actively start running the program because it can run by itself automatically.

Did you noticed how Depression plays its part in the Prison of the Soul?

The decisions you make on how to feel against any situation, the belief system you’ve installed and the lens you’re using to understand and process something, is like a programmer trying to deal with a program.

You need to be conscious and self-aware about yourself.

However, in spite of all of this, I’m not proclaiming the easiness of putting this into practice, on the contrary, I know how difficult it is to be self-aware of your own state and how to improve it.

Anxiety, depression and mental illnesses, in general, will make you believe there’s no hope because you cannot control them. Which is not true.

What about if we realize we are the programmers of our mind and body?

Once you realize that you are the programmer you will also notice that there is much more power within you to change the reality in which you are living.

Soul’s Prison is feeling like not having the ability to choose but once you understand and internalize that you create and run the programs you want in your life, you have plenty of options.

Next step from there is learning to choose the best option!

How Coming Back to Home Can Help Fighting Depression?

Back Home and Fighting Depression
Imagen de Crystal Procknow en Pixabay

I’m not talking about the physical act of coming back home, but that feeling we have when we get into that place we call home.

How is it that it can help us to fight depression?

You know, there is certain knowledge that we as normal human beings hold and it’s very difficult to transfer to another human being, in other words, is very difficult to communicate.

Feelings and emotions share that property too.

Feelings and emotions play a big part in how we live and walk in the world. For instance, a lot of us can relate with how certain things make us feel like; chocolate, a charismatic personage, a sexy body or even with Marvel Avengers Endgame and Game of Thrones.

Must of us can also relate to music because of what is being communicated and the way it makes us feel.

But how is it that coming back home can help us to fight depression?

Home Sweet Home!

What comming back home evokes in us, is the feeling of being safe. That we don’t need to keep the guard up and we finally can rest because we trust there’s no harm while being at home.

Let’s see it in real (and fictional) representation…

Getting back from work or college usually feels like a great relief. Soldiers are happy to go back to their country once war has finished. Batman has the Batcave to rest when he’s not fighting for justice in the city. In videogames, there’s always a place in which our character can recharge its energy and health.

Hopefully, you’ve got my point.

In the way I see it and the main reason I wanted to share this post with you it’s because I think “Home” is not just a place, but can be also an activity we like to do, a person or a group of people we like to spend time with.

That explains why we like certain hobbies, we feel we can relate to that activity in a special way; like we are in “our ground“. We love someone or are charmed by some people because we feel like we can trust them, we can let our guard down, we are safe.

Getting deeper into the way I see it, this also explains why we don’t like cheaters, liars, drama queens (or kings), attention seekers, narcissistic people, and evildoers in general. With them being around we don’t have rest and comfort, we cannot relax and feel at home but be alert all the time.

Conclusion

Being alert all the time is tiring, is really not sustainable in the long run. Creating a lifestyle that makes us feel at home as much as we can is what I believe would be how it can help fighting depression.

I know that I haven’t taken the exact same meaning of home, but it serves me well as a metaphor.

In a nutshell, we want to be at home as much as we can, and if we can create the feeling of being at home for ourselves and for others, then we are claiming back a lot of ground from depression.