“Blessings Restored” is the title I picked for a 12-step workbook I wrote on coping with mood disorders: Dysthymic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar II, Major Depression and Cyclothymia. It is loosely based on the format for a Celebrate Recovery step study. I changed several of the 12-steps as clinical depression and bipolar disorder are often the result of underlying biology as opposed to one’s intentional or addictive behavior.
I chose the title “Blessings Restored” because it echoes a book I published in 2005: The Unwelcome Blessing. The subtitle of The Unwelcome Blessing is “A Christian Therapist on Depression and Coping” — quite a mouthful, but you get the picture. I have not kept an accurate count but there are probably about 500 copies in circulation. Currently, it is only available from Amazon.com, my website: http://www.wellbless.com and the Northland Church bookstore. At one time it was in several other independent Christian bookstores that have since gone out of business.
Facebook has this app that reminds you of things you posted on this date in years past. A couple of days ago it reminded me that in March, 2014, I’d offered a class/support group using the workbook in my Longwood office. I’d had six copies of the rough draft printed up at Office Depot. I mentioned the class several times on Facebook over the following month and I gave copies of the workbook to several people including the pastor at Northland in charge of counseling.
I got remarkably little feedback on the book and only three people expressed any interest in the class. Time passed and distracted by other things, I gradually lost interest in the project.
So anyway, here we are four years later and a copy of the workbook sits next to my printer where it has been for the past four years. I had spent about a year composing the workbook and when I finished the first draft in 2013 I felt that I’d done something fairly unique — and potentially important. To my knowledge, coping with a psychological problem like a mood disorder had never been addressed in a 12-step format.
The initial class/support group was to run 13 weeks. I was hopeful of using that first go to try out the format, get feedback and make modifications before I formally published it.
Anyway, nothing happened, and here I am four precious years later wondering: (1) Was God saying, “Not now, it’s not the right time” or (2) “Forget it, it’s a bad idea!”
I hate the thought that I spent considerable time and energy on this project and then have done nothing to complete it. At my age my mental energy and focus isn’t what it was a decade ago and realistically I don’t have all that many years left. Now I realize that Moses spent 40 years in exile and didn’t really start his “ministry” until age 80, and I know God can do marvelous things but. . .