If you really want to begin to “live outside the box“, a description of what the box feels like and looks like might be helpful to you. First of all, a box has an identifiable shape. It is a box mainly because it contains something–whatever that might be. And when we speak of the subject of depression, we talk about depression having us boxed in. The box as it is used here, in this context is a metaphor for feeling enclosed and which there is no exit. It is like being trapped or like in a prison.
Now, in order to live outside the box we want to live creatively, which means that we are having to learn how to live outside the box. Now, if you find this hard to believe -stick with me now as I will explain what I mean.
Just briefly, my own experience with depression can be used as an example. First of all, when I was depressed I thought that I was losing my mind. The box that I put myself in was getting more restricting by the day and making my life hell. I could see no way out. I was trapped. What could I do I asked myself? As hard as I tried, I couldn’t just will these feelings and scary thoughts away–like taking a broom and brushing them out of my life. No matter which way I turned I hit a wall. With no answers forthcoming on how to keep my head above water, my body slowly was being sucked down into the quicksand of despair. The thought came to me, much like that small glimmer, a tiny light so far away, but nevertheless a light. It was like the lighthouse which with its intense brightness warns seafarers that rocks were nearby and to be watchful before approaching. My mind began to race here and there for a way out of the box and then it hit me — get moving. Move the body. Get busy. The key out of this prison was already in my hand. And now, those of us here in the Depressed program of recovery,who have been putting “out of the box” ideas to work in our daily lives, we want to share what has worked for us and we know, if you actually use them for your own recovery, they are bound to ultimately free you. That is the promise I share with you today.
The following activities, listed below are some of the tools that will get you “out of the box” when you get serious about using them.
I think taking a close and personal look at the following tools will not only help you get “out of the box” but can be tools that you will be able to utilize, day after day as you continue your recovery.
- Exercise is a great tool if you happen to be depressed.
- Getting out into nature will also help put your mind on beauty and your surroundings.
- Overcoming fear is also a great place to learn how to get out of the box. Learn about “first fear” and “second fear.” Fear doe seem to be at the center of our life when depressed.
- Recite the “SERENITY PRAYER” as often as you need it.
- The present. Staying in the now.
- Making use of the God box. This is an exercise, a simple one at that, which helps us learn the discipline of “letting go.”
- Feelings need to be examined and expressed. We will look at why expressing feeling is so important, instead of having them bottled up and causing all sorts of physical and emotional problems.
- Disable negative thinking: learn how to short circuit negative thoughts when they pop into our minds.
- Reading Depressed Anonymous literature and all material on the subject of depression.
- Learn how we all have choices. We make those decisions that bring us closer to freedom–not those that continue to imprison and box us.
- Journaling is a great tool for writing down what has been our experience for the day. It helps to clarify our thinking and puts things into perspective.
In the next post, I will begin placing attention on each of the eleven ideas listed above. Gradually we can take time to evaluate our response to each individually and make our own notes as how to use these recommended ideas for our own recovery.