Cleaning house: Steps 4 & 5.

AFFIRMATION

I know that I can be forgiven.

“Our moral inventory had persuaded us that all around forgiveness was desirable, but it  was only when we resolutely tackled Step Five that we inwardly knew we’d be able to receive  forgiveness and give it, too.”

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

In Step 5 we really get serious about our life and our thirst for freedom.  It is especially evident when we work this step that a new spirit of freedom penetrates the very fiber of our being. I know that it is when I look myself in the face, list and spell out each and every fault/defect that keeps me locked into my prison of depression. I can say with all truth and humility that I am more free now than I have  ever felt in my life because of my working the Fourth and Fifth Steps.  I am learning that what it takes to be set free from our painful past is the total honesty in speaking about it.

I gain forgiveness by giving it. When I release my anger or revenge toward another human being I am then free.

MEDITATION

God, please release in us our need to hang onto our guilt and anger. Cast your light on our pain and let us find peace. (Personal comments).

SOURCE:  (c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of Twelve Step fellowship  groups. (1999) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY. pg 129.

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

(c) The Depressed Anonymous Workbook. (2009) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.

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I will make a moral and fearless inventory of my life.

AFFIRMATION 

I will make a moral and fearless inventory of my life and devote myself to the truth about myself so that I might be able to admit my powerlessness over my past so that I might love myself today.

“Accepting yourself can mean resolving the grief left over from earlier years. Say you have lost somebody – or even something – and you were not able to show your grief, perhaps not even to admit it to yourself. There is nothing brave or wise in denying grief, in pretending that that you feel no pain or anger or sorrow.”

 CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

So often I have heard of the various stages of grief. For me to begin to work my way out of grief, I must go through these various stages of grieving. There is no fast way to grieve and it is an essential part of letting go of that which I have lost. One of the initial stages of grief is the shock of the loss of a love object and the need I have to believe that it will reappear again soon.

I have to get in touch with those who left me years earlier in my life and I never knew how to grieve their passing or even that I needed to grieve. I have many years of blocked up energy in my body as in the form of unresolved grief, anger, sadness and a general unease about myself. Somehow all these feelings from the past are like seeds that are trying to bear good fruit.  If left to themselves and never able to yield their fruit they fester inside me and continually keep me agitated, depressed and afraid.

MEDITATION 

God, lead us with the pillar of fire at night and the cloud by day as we move into the Promised land where we with those who have surrendered their wills to you, continue to recover and live with the belief that you will not desert us. You are my food, the manna for my journey through these lean times.

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SOURCES:  Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 19.

Copyright(c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. (See Step 4).

 

PRIZING YOURSELF

 

One of the activities that you might think about is something that you found fun or pleasurable before your present depression.  You might  give this activity some thought and then  write down this activity with any other fun things that comes to your attention. After a while, I think you will find that there are many  things that you could do when you are feeling especially low. At a time when I was especially feeling a total lack of energy I would go and lie down –why fight the fatigue?  But then I learned that if I would reject the thought of lying down  and instead interest my attention in an activity such as typing on my computer that I found my energy coming back.  The thought that I was too tired to do anything disappeared in a short while.  Weird, but it works!

Also, as for planning pleasurable  activities, you might want to start listening to the way you talk to yourself. Try to speak words to yourself as if you were talking to a guest in your home. Talk out loud if you wish – hear yourself say kind things to yourself. For once, say something good about yourself instead of listening to all those old negative tapes that always made you feel you’d be better off dead. Or else be someone else. You get the idea.

When  you start listing your strengths  as part of your Fourth Step Inventory, list all  the good things  that you like about yourself. (See the Depressed Anonymous Workbook). With every negative statement about yourself don’t allow yourself another statement about yourself until you are able to replace it with three positive statements. I mean. let’s be fair and balance this thing out.  I know that you might feel a bit uncomfortable about prizing yourself, but give it a try anyway.  One of the best ways to make sure you will have a pleasurable activity today is to plan for it the day before and then placing it on your calendar for the next day.  Don’t say you will do it “when I feel  better,” as you and I both know, we don’t usually do anything, no matter what we tell ourselves. I think we have all heard the saying “have a nice day unless you have made other plans.”  A lot depends on our attitude. If this isn’t enough, just know that Abraham Lincoln said that we are all about as happy as we make up  our minds to be. What do you think?

SOURCE: Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.   Pages 43-45.