A Return to Grace?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by captain2004, Apr 25, 2008.

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  1. captain2004

    captain2004 New Member

    I need input/advice, and I thought I would turn here. First time poster, FYI.

    I have always (since elementary school) been a really anxious kid and prone to depression. Depression runs really strongly on my mom's side of the family.

    One glorious point in my life, for two years, I reached Grace. Not a religious grace, but a point that all depressives wish to hit: I was overweight, and I started exercising and dieting healthily and effectively. I was optimistic. Great self-image, high self-confidence. Motivated. Happy.

    During graduate school, I returned to my depressive ways. I told my girlfriend (now fiancee) about my depression, but started having suicidal ideation and started cutting my hands slightly so I could hide both the ideation and cutting from her.

    I'm on the way to recovery. I'm seeing a great therapist and I am now feeling better than I have in a long time.

    My question is this: does anyone ever reach that state of Grace again? Can a depressive person ever truly become happy, or do we just live with depression and learn to control it a neutral point?

    Please respond. I need to know what others think about this.

  2. johnsmythe

    johnsmythe Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I've ever reached that grace point of happy at all, so I couldn't really comment on whether or not it is possible to reach it again.

    However, I would speculate that even if you did, you would simply fall back down again. So yes I believe we can be truly happy just not for long.
  3. dazzle11215

    dazzle11215 Staff Alumni

    I believe that we can get there again. Absolutely.

    I have also battled depression on and off for a long time, 30 years in my case. I am learning that I can "manage" my depression by being aware of stress and my "early warning" signs. It can be an ache in my chest, a desire to get high or cut, taking the phone off the hook and turning off the answering machine.... these are all early signs I'm having some difficulty. If i don't take action to feel better at the early warning stage i get much worse, very quickly, to the point that i start fantasizing about suicide. Then it's just a tiny step to attempting.

    The other thing I've learned is that stress and isolation are two major triggers, so I have to prepare in advance of those situations.

    Now that I know these things I am open to experiencing peace, joy and contentment in my life, not worrying about when feeling suicidal will return. If I, or my friends, notice the early warning signs then I just put the plan into action (call up the therapist, go out with friends, check exercise and diet, etc).

    If you google WRAP and Mary Ellen Copeland you will find some good recovery resources, in case you haven't already seen her stuff.
  4. I do understand the "fear" of not returning to a 'place of peace'... For me, losing that was far, far worse than all else I'd endured. What I have found is that in my own healing, I may likely never get back to that one singular realm I'd experienced before...but that where I am now, and hopefully the direction I will keep going in - while it may be different - it doesn't make me feel as "wistful" as I had previously. It's simply a different vista (also a part of my journey), and I'm learning to really appreciate it as much as where I was before I fell apart. So, yes, I do think it's possible.

    And it sounds as if you have wonderful resources in place for yourself - despite it feeling like somewhat of a slippery slope...healing is indeed also a journey in and of itself - and I've also learned to appreciate, savour (and give myself credit for) the "baby steps" I have tried to mindfully take. Very few things happen in an instant (as much as we'd like them to!!) :smile: So be gentle with yourself (it's a 'acquired' thing - it is not commonly taught - and no one can really teach you to integrate it into yourself but you...)
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