A Whole Chapter Could be Written part 2

How remiss I’ve been in not sharing the remarkable recovery I made from mental illnesses.  This happened about four years ago and I have remained well and free.

It was very difficult to get the motion for a pamphlet for the alcoholic with mental issues passed.  How painful it was, even at my own home group to have members speak against it.  I looked at the closed faces and defensive body language and my heart sank as the motion was being discussed.  Eventually, I could contain myself no longer.  I asked for a show of hands as to who had read the background material I had sent out prior to the business meeting.  Three out of 16 people raised their hands.  My reaction was anger rather than despair and that fueled me to persevere.  In my early years the manager of the Intergroup office in Vancouver, told me that he had never encountered anyone with as much “stick-to-it-ive-ness “as I had.  If I believe in something I commit to it and there is little that can stop me.  This is both a defect and an asset, I realize.

Eventually, the motion was passed after a four-year battle.  During those four years, I had worked hard writing and re-writing the motion.  At times I despaired and, one day, after a contentious meeting on the motion, I sat and wept and wondered what the point of it all was.  I reached into a little cabinet beside my chair and came out with the Emotional Sobriety book in my hand.  I’m sure I had previously read the first story; that of how Bill W. struggled with depression and overcame it.  However, I saw it with new eyes.  At first, when I had finished reading, I cringed because the words applied to me in spades.  Essentially, Bill had found, on self-examination, that he was still, at 57, childish.  His life, like mine, was based on having his dependencies taken care of and, again like me, demanding what he thought he needed in terms of security, prestige and the perfectionism which drove the whole mental illness.

Then I laughed.  Here I was at 67, experiencing exactly what Bill was talking about.  My whole trouble was, even after many years in AA and in many types of therapy, still childish, still looking to the world to take care of me, validate me and give me what I believed would make me feel OK.

Bill’s article, Emotional Sobriety, was the start of a whole new life for me.  Bit by bit the depression, OCD, anxiety, and PTSD left my life and has not returned.

This feels miraculous to me.  Along with Bill’s article, I realized that, by working so hard to serve other AAs like myself who have mental issues; my focus was not so much on myself and the very real miseries of mental illness. I was thinking of others and what they may need.  My doctor had mentioned that it was now more difficult to get our nutritional needs met by our diet as the land is depleted.  I Googled the orthomolecular approach to healing depression and I added supplements to my diet.  AA history {Pass it on has a whole chapter about Bill’s struggles with depression} talks about Bill trying to get acceptance for his ideas about supplements and how he was defeated.  I know that, if I miss a couple of days of certain supplements, I get grumpy.

I hope that my story will help those who still struggle with mental health issues.

Thank you for my recovery.

Lyla McL.