Burn out/ depression

Hey everyone I wanted to share and get some peoples opinions. I am an alcoholic who is about 4 and a half months sober. I’m going to 3-4 meetings a week, and working the steps. I have a sponsor who I check in with several times a week. These past 2 months my mental health has gone really down hill. When I started this journey I dove right into the Alcoholics Anonymous program to where if I wasn’t at a meeting or working I would be reading or listening to Recovery material. I am almost finished up with step 5. I am mentally and physically exhausted a lot, ( I work construction). Wake up early, 4 am, then have to stay up till around 9:30 because all my meetings around me start at 7 or 7:30. I’m not sleeping enough. I am having trouble finding joy in my life. I’m so burnt out I have just been laying in bed all day with no motivation or desire to do anything. I spent most of my life binge drinking. alcohol was my higher power. I thought about that next drink constantly. Alcohol gave me the motivation to power through the week to get to the weekend. Now that alcohol is not my higher power and the mental obsession has been lifted. There is a huge hole that is left. I’m struggling to not be restless, irritable, and discontent, most days. I have nothing I enjoy doing. I feel like my existence right now is just wake up, go to work, cook, clean, hit a meeting, and try to get enough sleep to do it all over again. Also doing all of this while trying to maintain a relationship with my girlfriend who i am trying not to push away by being down all the time. I’m just beat, and I don’t know how to find the motivation or even to find some solutions to find enjoyment in life. I keep seeing a lot of people on here kicking ass working out. I want to do that, I’m just exhausted all the time from work then staying up to go to meetings, I can’t get myself into a routine. Also don’t even know if this will bring joy into my life, I just know that exercise helps depression. I’m just overwhelmed with life at the moment. I just want some happiness/ contentment. The only glimpses of happiness I have had in my life were surrounded by chaos from drinking so I know I’m not going to go back out there. But it is discouraging when mentally and physically I feel worse than when I started this journey. I feel pathetic even writing this, I feel like I just need to keep drinking a nice tall glass of gratitude, shut the F$&K up and keep powering through and trusting the process. Anyway, any insight or suggestions would be helpful. Tough Love welcome also🙏


Congratulations on staying sober. I’m in a similar situation. About 2 months ago I started working with my doctor to try and improve my depression. I started taking an antidepressant about 5 weeks ago. I think it’s helping some. I am hoping to increase the dosage soon. I have a very hard time falling asleep then I can’t find the energy to get out of bed. Good luck.


Good luck to you too. Hang in there. I’ve been trying to find a therapist/ physiatrist for months now and every place I call isn’t accepting new patients. Got a physical 3 weeks ago and my doctor told me in a couple months the mental health department will call me to set something up. Covid has really made the mental health industry frustrating to navigate. Everywhere is booked. :confused:


I totally get where your coming from. I get up at 4am for work too, and I’m in overhead electrical construction so most days I’m dog shit tired. Than there’s the wife the 3 kids, the 3 dogs. Lol. Everybody always needs something. I would just power through the off work hours with alcohol just to kind of get through the day, but feeling like shit the whole way through. I can absolutely tell you though that exercise, even in the smallest amount will help with the depression and void. You just gotta push yourself to do it. Even if it’s just 20 minutes of stretching until you feel like doing more. Trust me the relapse is definitely alot worse than your feeling now.


I think you’re puttingn social pressure on yourself. Expecting to feel this or that way. Also seems like you’re depressed and to that you won’t find an answer from people who don’t understand. Please give yourself space if at all possible. Don’t give yourself targets or expectations. Feel free to message me privately please. I struggled with deppo for decades, few people really understand the scope of the struggle.


Thanks man I appreciate that, I worked out a little today then stayed in bed all day after. I’m an electrician also, pulling wire all day at work recently has got me extra beat. I won’t give up. Your right the relapse would be a lot worse, all my progress would be gone, and I would go back even farther into addiction than when I first quit.


Thank you for your reply! This is helpful, it is just tough because all the things on my list are only “ need to do things” I cannot stop. going to work, going to meetings, food shopping, cleaning the house, cooking, I literally don’t do anything else and I’m overwhelmed so I thought adding exercise is a need but I’m having trouble with that. The first thing to go would be the meetings and I cannot stop going ( it’s my medicine) the more you miss meetings, the easier it is to miss them, then I won’t get the message and I’ll go back out there. That can’t happen. I’ll see if I can make a schedule and stick to it. Maybe that will help. Although no clue how that will help give me more energy and motivation. Depression is a real demon.


I know you mean well but depression is real. It’s a demon that won’t respond to random positivity memes. Depression is something that crushes your spirit no matter how hard you try. It has no rational thinking at all, it’s usually just bringing you down no matter what. You could be the Justin timberlake of the 90s and if you’re depressed it will not mean a thing. That’s why there are so many irrational suicides. The worst you can do is to offer a well meant advice if you don’t really know the real scope of the struggle. I know your message was not addressed to me but please do more research before posting random wellbeing memes. Those can do more harm than good. :disappointed:

You absolutely aren’t pathetic. You are healing and putting in a lot of work so being tired makes sense. Keep looking for mental health help and try to be kind to yourself in the meantime.
I’m only 3 months sober and I know that I only work and come home these days. It’s sunny and beautiful outside so I feel like “I should” be doing lots of things. Today I’m off so I’m going to cook and take a nap in a hammock and most importantly, not drink. I’ll get social and busy again someday but not today.
4 1/2 months of sobriety is nothing to sneeze at. I’m sorry you are struggling but I think you are doing great. Keep going. :heart:


I’m so sorry and I apologize for my assumptions. One thing I know that infographics never helped nobody.

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I have bi-polar so I’ve had my bouts with depression.

  1. Getting through step 5 made it worse for me. Steps 6&7 helped.

  2. Therapy followed by a 6 month period of mood stabilizing meds was huge. Learned how to monitor my moods and emotions. Also identified warning signs and how to act on the prior a whole ass episode.

  3. Doing something is better than nothing. I love long-distance hikes. Like a lot. Unfortunately I can’t do that whenever I want. Sometimes a 15 minute walk around my neighborhood is all I get. Music helps.

  4. Doing nothing is better than something. I used to get anxiety if I didn’t finish all my daily tasks. This turned into 10-12 hour work days followed by nothing but housework. I’ve learned that work, and vacuuming, can wait. Sometimes I just gotta go home on time and do something for myself.

  5. In addition to routine I need balance. Around 6 months into my sobriety I realized I was not going to live a balanced life and still hit 1-2 meetings a day. I had to rely more on living the program more than the fellowship of meetings.


Thank you so much this is huge. I keep hearing from my sponsor I will find relief after step 5 but I’m not seeing much. It sounds like I need to really try to get this therapy and medication ball rolling. Balance is tough to find when you feel like one of the wheels is about to fall off the bike but I hear ya man!

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I’m going to keep trying! Thank you I appreciate you! :pray:

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#4 so underestimated.


Hey @TwoWolves967 depression blows and feeling overwhelmed with committments doesnt help. Sometimes a day just laying in bed is the self care you need. Have you looked into any online AA meetings? Theyre happening everywhere, all the time. That may help if you can hit up an earlier meeting and get to bed earlier! Have compassion for yourself and just take it a step at a time. The darkness can be lifted whether that be through meds,therapy, exercise, or other self care. Be patient and dont beat yourself up over a chemical reaction in your brain you cant control. We are always here for you if you need to vent!!

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I got to try something different! I have found fellowship and some good people in AA in person meetings who are slowly becoming my friends. I don’t want to switch to online I feel like the in person meetings are the one thing that’s keeping me afloat right now, but I appreciate the suggestion! I’ll give some of your other suggestions a try. Just takes time to get the ball rolling on some of them. Thank you for your support! :pray:


That’s why CBT never worked for me. It’s supposed to be this super easy step by step thing but when you’re depressed AF it doesn’t help. It just makes you feel worse bc if you’re unable to do even that super easy thing than you really suck.

This is why real depression is so dangerous. Makes you believe things… I wish it was understood better.


In AA we are often told to go to as many meetings as possible.

When we’re brand new we are desperate. It’s helping us add up days. It’s easy to make it our focus.

Balance is something I’ve always struggled with.

I’m notorious for burning the candle at both ends. I end up burning out. Depression hits me harder when I’m burned out.

I’m assuming you have a home group. Free up a few nights a week to work out, a date night to keep your relationship strong. If you don’t feel better you can go back to more meetings. Experiment , just don’t miss your homegroup meeting.

You can listen to recovery related stuff while you work out.

Sometimes we need to make more time for recovery. Sometimes we need to make more time for life.

Being almost done with your fifth step means your still swimming in some of that 4th step stuff too.

I think sometimes recovery depression can also stem from the realization that getting sober doesn’t fix everything about life.

It makes it better. It gives us a foundation to build a better life. We have to learn to balance it all along the way.


You hit the nail on the head with this. I’ll take your recommendations to find more balance. I’ll keep my home group and 1 or 2 more meetings a week, make a schedule to get back into the gym, and save a night a week to take my lady out. :+1:t3:

I have realized this before a couple years ago and ended up going back out around 6 months sober due to this. Alcohol was my solution to depression and the world around me. I’m hoping this go around I have enough tools and enough in me to not give up and go back out there. I’m going to fight like hell to stick around long enough for the miracle to happen.

Thanks for you input I appreciate you! :pray:


Yeah just remember where your at and what how you feel is very normal. Here’s a few things that help me which are the promises from the big book and the rewards. Hope it can help a little.