” During acute depression, avoid trying to set your whole life in order all at once. If you take on assignments so heavy that you are sure to fail in them at the moment, then you are allowing yourself to be tricked by your unconscious. Thus you will continue to make sure of your failure, and when it comes you will have another alibi for still more retreat into depression.
“In short, the ‘all or nothing’ attitude is a most destructive one. It is best to begin with whatever the irreducible minimums of activity are. Then work for an enlargement of these –day by day- Don’t be disconcerted by setbacks –just start over.”
Source: Bill W., in Letter, 1960.
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
Here is my take on the statement above by Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
When I first got involved with the Twelve Steps, I couldn’t wait to read all the steps and get busy reading as much as I could about them. But as I continued to stay in the program and get more involved in the Fellowship I discovered that I could not read ahead and think that now that I have read all the literature about the addiction I was done. I graduated. Instead, after thirty years plus, I am still working through these Steps and finding material that I need to look at in my life. The Twelve Steps and the study thereof, alone using the Home Study Kit, and in the context of a fellowship group, I have continued my quest to live one day at a time. Step Eleven is one of my constant companions which states that I “sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry it out.”
Our guide, Depressed Anonymous 3rd edition, written by those of us who were depressed, contains an excellent commentary on Step Eleven (Pages 94-103). The Steps provide you and me with a lifetime of hope and help. The Steps continue to provide me with a lifeline that is available to me, today, every day and every time. It works for me!