I am going to believe that today is all I have and when I begin to feel better, I will not kill this feeling by telling myself that it won’t last. I will refrain from criticizing myself now. I do have a choice. All of the Twelve Steps ask us to go contrary to our natural desires…they all deflate our egos. When it comes to ego deflation, few steps are harder to take than Step Five. (10).
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
The other night at a Step meeting one of the participants suggested that the reason she continued to stay depressed was the fact that she was still living a life that came natural to her. In other words, she was still continuing to think the what she always thought in the past. Now that she is living and working a program that is spiritual, her natural inclinations are not the driving force in her life. Her natural way of living kept her depressed. Her recovery program of living in the Twelve Steps is providing her with some serenity.
I want to add my comments here in response to the Depressed Anonymous participant quoted above. When she started to feel better she would put herself down–much like I did when I was beginning to feel better. When my sad mood was beginning to lift, my first reaction was to tell myself “it’s not going to last,” which shot that good feeling down almost immediately. I got hooked back onto my old natural self of negativity and hopelessness. It took me a while to get back on track. I realized that I scuttled myself. I had always scuttled myself with a running diatribe against my self. And when I finally got free of my natural inclinations to beat myself up, primarily by living out in my daily life the spiritual recovery program of the Steps. I also began participating in the fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. I began to listen, not to my natural self, but to the Steps of recovery, now armed with the spiritual armor provided to me, I began the reconstruction of my life–one day at a time.
In a helpful look at depression and mood, Jonathon Rottenberg tells us that
“Our perspective here is that, although depression’s pain is never entirely welcome, moods offer meaningful information about our status and prospects in the world. Without trivializing how difficult it would be to “listen to depression” to extract evolution’s warnings, to find the signal amid the pain, this listening particularly in its aftermath, can be a vehicle to foster rebirth and transformative life change. Certainly it will be difficult to learn from depression if we don’t listen at all.” (The Depths: The Evolutionary Origins of the Depression Epidemic. Basic Books. NY.2014. Page 195.)
It is intended that my life be filled with hope and commitment to myself so that I can live out my life with a peace that overcomes fear. “To admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.” (Step Five).
This is not the natural way to live. The naturel way to live is to deny that we have a problem. The more I work and live out my program, the better I am beginning to feel.
We believe that the God of our understanding will help us visualize ourselves as happy and free persons. We will visualize in our mind all the good things that can happen to us if we believe that they can. If God is with us and cares for us, why worry? (Personal comments).
SOURCES: Copyright(c) Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for Twelve Step fellowship groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Kentucky. Pages 169-170.
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. (1998,2008, 2011). Depressed ANONYMOUS Publications. Louisville. Ky.