Depression is a mental illness that affects addicts, recovering addicts, and those that have never used drugs a day in their life. It knows no color, gender, or location, and it can impact anyone at any time. Throughout your recovery journey, there may be times that you feel depressed. Even though you may be taking all of the right steps to actualize the goal of a drug or alcohol-free life, your brain has its ways of making you feel guilty, resentful, or just sad for no apparent reason. If you ever do feel this way, it’s important to stock up on some key strategies that will allow you to overcome the feeling quickly and efficiently. The first, as stated by PsychologyToday, is to “recognize and conquer your critical self attacks.” Many times, the voice inside our head (known as our critical inner voice) can “function as an over-disciplinary parent holding us back and keeping us in our place.” While, when contained, it allows us to practice self control, this voice is often the primary antagonist within, forcing us to cope with our sadness, blame ourselves, and wallow in our circumstance. The way to conquer this voice is to simply not listen to it. It’s as simple as that. When it’s telling you to stay by yourself, to not go out, or not to laugh… do the complete opposite. By forcing yourself to do the things that you know you enjoy, you demonstrate to your critical inner voice that it has no power over you! Start by asking yourself if the negative thoughts that pop into your head would be things you’d say to a friend or family member, and, if not, ignore them! Secondly, it’s important to stay as active as possible during this time. Activity is known to combat depression, and by moving about and exercising for just twenty to thirty minutes a day, you’ll find that you’ll feel much better than you did when you were stagnant. Finally, refrain from isolating yourself. Humans need companionship, and company can help lighten your burden and lift your spirits. At the very least, it can take your mind off of your unfortunate situation for a few hours. Finding someone to talk to about your depression is also a great reason to surround yourself with others. Getting your feelings off of your chest and out into the open is a surefire way to cleanse your mind and nip depression in the bud!