So often we depend on others liking us to have an identity. I believe they call it “people pleasing.” As long as people smile at us, greet us warmly, we are thinking we are OK. So much in our lives, and who we think we are or who we are not, is dependent upon others opinions of ourselves.
In our program of recovery, it usually is our sponsor (do you have one?) who tells us the truth about ourselves. But also our DA group discussions have those members who by sharing their strength, hope and experiences and struggles with depression point us in a right direction.
I remember a few years back when a member told another member that he was always saying the same thing week after week but never facing the challenge of changing his behavior. She told him that either he do some work on himself or join some other group. Ouch! I believe that he was one of those DA cats who came to be caressed. They come but never change the way they live their lives. And yes, it’s risky to change. We never know what a change in our behavior will bring–chaos or healing. We love to live in the predictable. The unpredictable is too frightening. But the Promises of the Twelve Steps (see Chapter 12 in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition) give us the definite hope that if we follow the path of our spiritual program of recovery, healing with replace fear, anxiety, chaos and isolation.
Please don’t flatter me. Tell me the truth. I am not a cat that needs to be caressed.
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.KY