Walling off negative feelings

“In examining our purpose one of the things that stands out is our emphasis on feelings. We stress feelings for several reasons… First of all, our behavior in the past has been so opposed to our value system that considerable feelings of remorse and self loathing have been built up. It appears that we have accumulated a pool of negative feelings and walled them off with a variety of masks or defenses that prevent this discovery…” Source: Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations. Flores, Phillip J. The Haworth Press.


I know all about “walling off” my negative feelings.  I purposely disconnected myself from negative feelings. To even think about negative events in my life, and much less to even talk about them with others, were  the bars that created my own personal prison. It was only when I admitted my own powerlessness with a life spiraling down out of control, because of shame, guilt and isolation, that I had to do something, anything,  to free myself from the bondage of depression. And that is where my story begins and that is where I began to get my life back.  When I admitted to myself and then to that group of persons who faced the same problem as myself,  that the bars of my prison were gradually removed.

Could it be that we have spent so much time on getting rid of these oppressive feelings of shame and despair that, as Thomas Moore states so wisely in his work, Care of the Soul in  Everyday life, that “depression  may be as important a channel for valuable “negative” feelings, as  expressions of affection are for the emotions of love.”

Finally the truth comes out. Even though medications prescribed for depression may help some of us get  back on the  playing field of life, getting in touch with these dark feelings of melancholy which have us down for the count, it is by feeling them and talking about  them that get us back to life. Why is it that we are so ready to get rid of something which with time and work can reveal to me a better path where i will discover a purpose and meaning  for my life.

If you want to discover how others like myself made this journey through the darkness and bitterness of their lives and came out more fully human, with negative feelings  and all, then please read  the PERSONAL STORIES of those like myself who using  the 12 Steps of recovery found the passage to freedom.


Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville,

I’ll do it when I feel Better(2014)  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications.   Louisville.

Please Visit the Store for more literature dealing with Depression and the 12 steps.


Right now, I feel a glimmer of hope.  I will make this glimmer grow brighter by trusting in my ability to expand my activities today and talk to a friend about the small steps I am taking to feel better today.

“Those of us who cope with life have  put up some barriers, have made some disconnections by maintaining many connections. Those people who become depressed have disconnected themselves completely, and the barriers they  have built are the walls of the prison of depression.”

Depression continues for as long  as I stay disconnected from those around  me. I don’t want to be connected – I might have to change the way I think, feel and act.  This would turn  my comfortable world upside down and then where would I be. I’d be like the sailor on a cloudy night-nary a star by which to chart my course.  Being in contact and connected with others means that I am ready to risk getting someone else a look inside my prison. It means that my new connections will change me to face my old beliefs about myself and my world.  Today, I have the opportunity to choose to trust or to retreat back into my hole of hopelessness. What’s it  ‘gonna’   be?