Rebuilding My Families – Making Amends

hike-4991Steps 8 and 9 in the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous progression call on us to identify those we have harmed and then to make “direct amends” to them – unless it would cause them more pain. I have spent much of my energy since 2004 trying to figure out how this works. Continue reading

Spinning Our Plates

david-burlet-plate-spinning-act-plate-spinner-juggling-comedy-juggler-platos-chinos-malabares-giocoliere-piatti-cinesi-chinesische-platte-jongleur-zirkuskunstler-115

David Burlet in his plate-spinning act. Plate spinners were among my favorite act on the old Ed Sullivan show. They defy the laws of nature, much as people do who battle mental illness.

Some people have such difficulty expressing their periodic chasms of vengeful depression, they take to the Internet looking for narratives they might adopt for their own. Now and then, reading through these portrayals of sub-flat-line despair, they shout, “That’s fantastic!”

This does not suggest any enthusiasm – not even for recovery. Part of depression is being willing to take on anything – even the misery of others – in an effort to fill the void with something other than deep, dull pain. Continue reading