The short answer is NO you do not have to do the work of recovery.
Recovery is about having a choice. A choice to do things differently. I can continue to act, think, and talk in the ways that I have done in the past, but chances are the outcome will be the same.
If I do what I always did, I will get what I always got.
– A slogan heard in a 12 Step recovery meeting
I can choose to stay in stinking thinking. I can choose to continue to look to blame others for my depression and my situation. A far healthier choice though is to accept and take ownership of my part in my depression. There are things, small or large, that I can do, think or say that perpetuate my depression. That is what is meant by saddening yourself.
Taking ownership of your own stuff is hard to do. There is no denying it. But sadly, it is the only way out. I need to accept that my best thinking got me into the depths of my depression. Continuing on with doing it my way is a recipe for disaster.
I have a choice. I choose to do the work of recovery. Not because it is easy, but rather because it is what will bring about healing in my life. There is a saying in Buddhist circles – trying to calm the monkey mind. My mind is fraught with negativity, anger, fear, and self-loathing. I need to walk on a higher path. I need to go the way of recovery. I need to take the pathway where God walks.
The trick is that I don’t have to – I get to choose a better healthier way.
You too can choose to take the higher road. Good luck!
Yours in recovery,