ALL OR NOTHING
“During acute depression, avoid trying to set your whole life in order all at once. If you take on assignments so heavy that you are sure to fail in them at the moment, then you are allowing yourself to be tricked by your unconscious. Thus you will continue to make sure of your failure, and when it comes you will have another alibi for still more retreat into depression.
“in short, the ‘:all or nothing’ attitude is a most destructive one. It is best to begin with whatever the irreducible minimums of activity are. Then work for an enlargement of these –day by day. Don’t be disconcerted by setbacks – just start over.” Bill W., As Bill Sees it. (p.308)
I know about this “all or nothing ” experience. It was really made manifest in my daily study of the Twelve Steps and writing down my thoughts in my journal. Now I use the HOME STUDY PROGRAM, which lets me go at my own speed and examine my own life in relationship to the Steps as spelled out in the Depressed Anonymous Manual and with questions asked in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. Together, these really have helped me focus on one piece of the puzzle at a time. When I first entered the Twelve Step fellowship I wanted to devour everything there was to know about addictions in one big gulp. Gradually I learned that if I took my time, read the literature and continued to use Workbook and Manual one day at a time, that my life began to have that promised serenity and a hope that continues to this day.
“I find the insights of Bill W., to be at the cutting edge of whether or not a person depressed gets better or just simply gets., that is, gets more isolated and disconnected from life. Many hurting folks come to Depressed Anonymous with the mistaken belief that they are coming to a class; while there, someone will teach them about how to quickly get out of their depression. They want a quick fix and then get right back to living the way they used to – never realizing that they have to do some work on themselves if they indeed want to stay free of depression…” DEPRESSED ONCE – NOT TWICE.