Moods produce feelings and feelings produce behavior

AFFIRMATION

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.

Hugh’s comment

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.)

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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.

MINDFULNESS

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.

 

I have found a new life and a new freedom. Will you join with me?

AFFIRMATION

My freedom today is growing inside of me as I hope for new life, new friends and new opportunities for serenity and peace.

“We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, ever dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this Step Five, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease.  Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our creator. We may have had certain  spiritual experiences. The feeling that the drink (insert depression) problem has disappeared will often come back strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” AA Big Book.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

“…When I am in the early days of my recovery, it is so natural for me to begin thinking how bad things will be today, or when will I actually begin to feel better? I don’t believe that these good feelings will last. I set myself up for sadness. This  type of thinking is similar  to the alcoholic who think they  can take one drink but continue to drink til they are drunk.    For us to think that we can start to bash ourselves with sad thoughts without getting drunk with the numbing effects of sadness is sorely mistaken. This is called  denial.

I believe with all my power that even though I walk through the valley of darkness that my God will always be there  with me. I believe also that my sadness will not last forever, but that today is all  I have and I have hope for my day, today. I know that the more I turn to my Higher Power, the more  my Higher Power turns to me.

MEDITATION

God, please don’t let us get attached to anything that isn’t of your making. Our thoughts that we will never feel better are really thoughts  that aren’t   based on fact as most people admit, since they have both good days and bad days in  the future. God, help us to have a good day, today!  Help us to be free today!”

Copyright(c)  Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups. Hugh Smith. (Depressed Anonymous Publications, Louisville. KY. Pgs 133-134.)

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