One of the many issues a person depressed faces is a “fear that you might get depressed again.” We all know that once is enough! This fear is real and stirs up a myriad of scary emotions.
It’s these low moods, which we all experience, having within them the power to propel us down into something more dangerous and potentially life-threatening. There is no other way to describe it but as being hurled down into a death spiral with no hope of coming back in one piece.
But wait! It doesn’t have to work this way. I have begun to recognize, now that I am in recovery, and proactive about my own recovery, to judge what is a trigger for good or a trigger for a potential crash. These triggers shadow us wherever we go.
Maybe it’s our memories of the past, our loss of a beloved relationship, to name just one, that trigger such powerful and painful emotions in ourselves.
In my early recovery from depression, I began developing a recovery plan–a plan that would continue to be my loyal companion, day after day. This plan, provides me with a way to protect myself and prepare myself for what crazy idea or situations crosses my path or presents itself to my imagination. Just as in all other 12 Step programs of recovery, we all have a workable prevention plan that can safeguard us from a relapse.
I formulated a depression relapse prevention plan while I was going through the Steps–one at a time–and putting together a basic defense against whatever came against me. For any of us who suffer from this addiction, or this attachment to that which gradually takes over our lives, is a big part of my self-care program. This recovery and prevention plan has indeed served me well over these past 30 years. Yes, I still can be almost flattened emotionally at times by the hopelessness of a single moment and injects a helpless and painful memory from my past life. Ruminating about this one isolated moment, just an electrical spark in my brain, starts a conflagration, consuming all the peace and hope and initiating a spiraling down into deeper isolation, all the while gradually prohibiting decision-making, physical movement and any sense of spontaneity and joy. I am now on lockdown. My personal executive powers are reduced to minimum. This is so powerful that I cannot get out of bed.
As mentioned earlier, this toolbox, with it’s tools for recovery are available to all of us–all we have to do is acknowledge that they are there. They are the means given to us to construct our own depression relapse prevention plan which can help us be prepared whenever we are faced with a potentially serious threat to our serenity and hopefulness.
Once you know the triggers, and once you begin to feel the low mood creeping into your mind and heart, you know that it can’t overcome you and force you into the dark anguish of isolation and solitariness.
At our Website you will find a menu item where the Tools of Recovery are listed. Metaphorically it’s like having a smoke detector in your mind–you will be able to challenge and overcome any negative thinking (trigger) that wants to hurt you.