Depressed Anonymous, as a functioning mutual aid group is solution focused. How do I know? I know because I practice the principles of the Twelve Steps in my daily life–day after day. I have a step by step program of recovery which provides me with an assortment of tools (solutions) to help dig myself out of whatever has me by the throat. The fellowship of a Twelve Step recovery group embeds me in a secure group of men and women who, like myself, are focused on what can rebuild my life and not continue to destroy it. A lot of the rebuilding might be to repair a faulty foundation that did not provide security for us as we passed through the various formative years of our lives.
In a similar vein, it has been our family or significant others who have told us who we are and who by their feelings towards us to a large extent determined who we are today. Our parents for good or for ill have defined who we are combined with other significant early childhood caregivers.
It was their opinion of us, plus the familial environment that helped create the personality of who we are today. If we grew up with a secure base — a supportive father and mother who let us pursue and reach out beyond our environment and encouraged this pursuit – most probably we grew up confident and hopeful as if life was a good place to be and which nurtured us and protected us – in other words, we were not afraid to move beyond our family boundaries – we were encouraged to grow and go beyond our family boundaries and explore. But the family where the child doesn’t feel secure –that child was closed in and felt afraid of that which was outside the circle of the family. In one family there was an openness that promoted growth and learning and in another the closed family system produced fear, aloneness and alienation from self and others.
If a teacher, parent or significant other told you that you would never amount to anything they probably have influenced you for much of your life, that is until you discovered that something in your life was amiss. A small child believes so much taught to them by those older people who not only were bigger and stronger but who were like gods compared to our small size and small minds.
I remember well a teacher who told me in the 3rd grade that I would never be like my brother and uncle (smart guys) –this truly shocked me — but I did believe her and it has influenced me for the remainder of my life–until I found out that she was not correct. Over the years I finally caught on and became the person that I am growing to become today. I am not a carbon copy of some other person’s idea of who I was and supposed to be. (The thoughts here of Family Systems researcher and author (Bowen) have influenced me in my reflections on my own family and its influence on my life)
Are you, the reader, still influenced by those old labels and messages that were pinned on you years ago? If so, you can now do something about it. Are you ready!
See the source cited below.
SHINING A LIGHT ON THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL: A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE FOR HEALING THE DARKNESS . OF DEPRESSION. (1999) DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. Pages 1-2