Posted: 17/10/2014 at 16:48
Depression and alcoholism often go hand-in-hand. In A.A., one of the many cliches is "If you want esteem, do esteemable things." We use the 12 Step process which involves taking a good hard look at ourselves and investigating our past through a structured process, getting it down on paper, speaking about it to someone we trust. Then, from that process we end up with a list of people we've harmed and we do a 'My Name's Earle' thing and go and make amends to them. If we owe money, we pay it back. If we've wronged someone we try to set it right (unless it would cause them further harm). There's a lot of esteem to be found by clearing the debris of our past (most alkies seem to have messy pasts). And of course the real amend we make to our loved ones is by the way we live sober. Hopefully we're more loving, kinder, patient and tolerant. We almost have to be if we want to remain sober.
Our program also places great emphasis on one alcoholic helping another. It's difficult to have low-self esteem when you spend your time helping another human being for no payment. I'm fairly active in sponsoring other alkies; I find it extremely rewarding.
I also think health and well being don't have to go together. We can be healthy, but not well in our being. But I know people who are not healthy but mentally well; for example I know a lady dying of cancer, but she's well in her being; she has peace of mind.
There's lots of good books out there about depression and stuff. I'm currently reading this one (to help me understand depression better; Mrs Tosh suffers with it):
The author has used stuff like A.A.'s 12 Steps and Buddhist practices and lots of other stuff. I've not finished the book, but it's a good read so far.