This was something that came out of one of my very first sessions with a counselor. I was there for treatment of depression. A crushing, overwhelming depression that caused me on bad days to not be able to even get out of bed. And bad days were outnumbering good days.

We started to talk about my substance-abuse issues, too. When I tried to transition back to talking about depression he said something regarding addiction that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. He said to think of my mental health as a house. I agreed to play along. He said, “you’ve come to me, because your house needs a new roof. You’re suffering from depression.”  Then he said, “I am willing to help you put a new roof on your house, but that would be insane, do you know why?”

“No I don’t,” was my reply. “It would be insane to worry about your roof because your house is on fire. Your addiction has become primary. It must be dealt with before anything else. Until you put that fire out, you are throwing your time and your money away.”

I’ve never heard anything like that, before or since.

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