“Are you afraid of the dark?”

When I was a child I was afraid of going down into our home’s basement.  It was  dark and  gloomy.   My older brother convinced me that a frightening ghost was prepared to jump on me and eat me if I ever   ventured downstairs. Even when the single light that shone during the day couldn’t free me from my dreaded fear of the unknown.

As I grew older and outgrew my fears about ghosts and such I still was plagued with fears about things which popped up  unexpectedly  in my life. The way I handled  these fears was to think of all the possible ways that  I would be eaten (metaphorically speaking )  if the dark moods which  were   created  inside of me  continued.  It appeared that the more I  was feeling these unpleasant feelings swirling around in my mind, the more fearsome they did become. It was no longer the ghost in the basement  that terrified me but it was my own fears of being  reduced to nothingness that sent me spiraling downward into the great dark abyss. In a certain manner  of speaking, when I had a situation that caused my whole person to grieve something as much as a part of ourselves , loss of a love, a loved one’s death, loss of freedom through an addiction,  again I was  being thrust  into the dark basement of my childhood, with  those old  horrific feelings  suddenly rekindled and as real a threat as the imagined ferocious  basement ghost of my childhood.

Feelings are like that. They seem to just come out of the blue. In reality they come out of our past and those awful fears are being reignited by some of the same situations that caused us such panic in the earliest years of our lives. These fears continue to scare us and shut us down, feeling-wise, as long as we make no efforts to identify them and see how they are  connected  between then and now. Our body sensors are always alert to danger and so somehow a present danger or unpleasant feeling appears as fresh and new, when in reality it has its origin in a fearful childhood experience.

“By our continual shutting ourselves up in the little world of our own mind, we gradually sink more and more into despair and feel that no one can understand how we think and feel. The biggest freedom that we can gain from confessing to someone else is that we  no longer  have to have it all together and be perfect. We can then begin to admit we are petty, selfish and self-centered.  We can then  admit that we want to have restored a sense of peace by getting free from all worry and fear from the past and by turning these feelings  over to the Higher Power. We can discover that forgiving  ourselves and being forgiven by God are one and the same thing. The group will see to it that the more you admit your own fears about yourself and the future the less terror the present will hold for you.”

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For more on this important  subject please read Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

VISIT THE STORE here at our site and order online more of our valuable books on the subject.

 

 

 

SURVIVAL IS TO MEET LIFE’S PROBLEMS HEAD ON!

AFFIRMATION

I am going to take a fearless and moral inventory of myself today and list on paper my strengths as well as my weaknesses, that is those characteristics in my life that might keep me fearful and depressed,

“Step Four and Five really have to be faced head-on if our depression is to go away. Steps Four and Five are all about cleaning house. We must square off with ourselves and begin the rooting out process that will in time, free us from our sadness and our identity as a depressed person. So often a person depressed is afraid, panic stricken really, in facing some issues that were never their fault in the first place.”

REFLECTION

I see so many people are liberated from their depression the moment they begin to look themselves in the eye and reflect on  their character defects. These persons are the ones who are not afraid to make a list of all the persons they have hurt by their isolating depression and by the thought that they are unacceptable to others and to themselves. By working Step Five which states  that “we admitted to God, ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” I am assured by another person’s acceptance of me that I will get through this time of pain and hurt.

Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous had a spiritual awakening on night as he truly was at the lowest point in his life and begged God to help him. God’s love lit up the room for Bill and he was never the same after that. He was a changed man. I need to make restitution to my family, my friends, my spouse and to whomever for my withdrawing from life and hiding from my responsibilities. This is the work that is needed if I am to get free of the shackles of sadness.

MEDITATION

God, shine the light of your wisdom into our hearts so that you might help us find the way out of our depression and get on with living our  lives the way you would have us live them.  Our fears and anxieties are definitely not the way you would want us to live. You have shown us the way out of our misery by bringing us close to those who once were depressed, but now in recovery, are doing better.”

SOURCES: Copyright (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for all members of 12 Step fellowships. Depressed Anonymous  Publications. Louisville. Page 224/ November 10th.

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Copyright (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Re-membering.

Thoughts from the Depressed Anonymous Workbook

The healing comes in the telling of the story, the literally painful ‘re-membering.’  As the story is retold and some of the old feelings which were denied and cut off are gradually remembered  and received by a supportive and empathic listener, healing starts to happen. The re-membering of the story, particularly if the trauma has been severe and deeply repressed, can be extremely painful, accompanied in some instances by sleep disturbances, nightmares, anxiety or depression. It is critical to let the individual loosen his or her defense of repression at a pace which feels safe, especially as trust is gradually developed.

What are some of the losses of the adult child? He or she has lost childhood in some real ways. Very often the growing up in a dysfunctional family means loss of trust and love in some cases and even loss of provision for basic survival needs such as food, shelter and physical safety… Sometimes this chronic depression is masked and defended against by compulsive activity and perfectionist kinds of striving. Becoming “tireless” and “limitless caretakers of others defends a person against his or her own neediness and yearning to be cared for.” (See: Adult children of alcoholics. Ministers and Ministries. Rea McDonnell and Richard Callahan,CSC.)

Regarding Self-concept and the Fourth Step  (  “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” )

Most of our lives we are involved in relationships of one kind or another. It is these relationships that set us up for being the trusted individual who sees the world either as a safe and secure place to live or we learn to see the world and the people in it as a place to be feared.

Dorothy  Rowe, always at her best at helping the depressed develop personal insights asks pertinent questions:

What kind of meaning do you need to find which would enable you to master your experience and to allow you to get on with your life?

What have you learned from your experience of depression which you feel would be helpful to other people?

Are you aware that your own program of recovery using the Steps can be a great source of help to that person who comes into the Depressed Anonymous Program of recovery.

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SOURCES:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011). Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.