Well, for one, it takes work to change our behavior. It takes time. It also takes a plan for getting done what needs to get done. You remember the saying: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”  There is some truth to that as I know firsthand from personal experience. How often did I tell myself that I would do this or do  that, when I felt better. Can you relate to that? Most of us can. But when I was depressed I never felt better – to do anything–at least to do the stuff that I needed to do to  escape  my comfortable  cocoon of inactivity. It was hardly comfortable. At least I didn’t have to make any decision to get better. I guess that was the comfort.

First of all, I knew that after being painfully aware that I was spiraling down into a place where I could not just snap my fingers and I would feel good again. My will power was powerless to help.  So, my awareness  told me that I had to get motivated and start to move–I mean physically move. I had to force myself out of bed. I did that. I motivated myself to move. I Got up the force to move my body and this gradually and with some reluctance moved my mind to do more. So then I placed myself into the doing stage. I had to change, I told myself

I then started a process  of removing from my thinking those thoughts that told me how futile my life was, plus how worthless I  considered myself.  I started to replace all those negative statements about myself  in my head with positive statements. Positive affirmations.  I began  to repeat over and over my mantras where I began to say good things   about myself, while discarding the negative and unpleasant thoughts about myself;  thoughts that continued to paralyze me. These mantras are the mental thinking loop which I repeated dutifully hour after hour, day after day. ” I will build a new life”;  “I am stronger than my sadness”; ” I have the courage to go through this painful experience”;” I no longer blame myself or others for my sadness”. “I do not have to wait for someone else to make me glad;” “I am focusing on my stars, not my scars;” . “I can do it;.”  “Yes, I can.”

Now that you are AWARE of being powerless over the sadness in your life, what are you DOING  today to continue MOTIVATING  yourself?  I will change myself.


Today, we can look at the Motivating Stage –One of the Four. We have talked about the first stage, namely that of just being Aware. And in the context of BLAMING ourselves, others or God, we have made ourselves aware of a character defect where blaming others works against our self. It is in the Aware stage that we realize that “something is really wrong with me” as David Karp points out in his insightful book Speaking of Sadness. I know the feeling. I knew that I couldn’t just stay in bed but had to do something to get rid of that all encompassing fatigue as well as reduce the tremors in my limbs and eliminate that horrible jittery feeling in my gut. This led me to make a decision –to get motivated— hoping against hope that I wasn’t losing my mind. I wasn’t going crazy.
In the Motivating Stage we are using our awareness to show us how our negative thinking and talking to ourselves has helped continue our sadness. It’s like we have a “wake-up” call telling us how all this negative and emotion laden self talk is making us depressed. And now I am making up my mind to change the way I talk to myself as well as motivate myself to follow the spiritual program of recovery–step by step. I also am trying to live in the present. All I have is just this 24 hours. This Motivating Stage prepares me to move to the DOING stage. I will do all it takes to quit the BLAME game and gradually accept responsibility for my life.