In our program of recovery, looking at our lives and making an inventory of our good points and our shortcomings is a process of staying healthy, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
One of my shortcomings is putting things off that needed to be dealt with at a time a correction needed to be made. It’s like the sailor who realizes the direction he is taking now, will put him off course unless he makes a navigational correction. The ramifications of waiting for a better time, a more convenient time, all can end up with disastrous consequences. Let me explain what I mean.
Years ago, I had my first experience with depression. It was a most painful experience. You all know what I am speaking about. I didn’t understand what was happening to me as my mind turned to cotton, energy level was zero and I was unable to get out of bed. I didn’t have a clue what I had. I couldn’t even give it a label. In this situation there was no blinking light telling me of an impending problem. There was no warning.
My point here, briefly, is that if I had taken care of some of my personal problems, shortcomings, some from my childhood and some from my earlier adult days, I might have prevented my life from going off the tracks.
Not too long ago my car engine light started blinking. My engine was out of oil. I called for help. The main motivation for my seeking help is noticing the red light on my instrument panel blinking on and off. If I didn’t add oil NOW I will have a cracked engine block. I turned off the road, bought a few quarts of oil. I added oil, contacted a mechanic and got the car in the shop. That took care of the problem-at least for now. Now I check the oil level in my engine every time I fill up with gas.
That brings me to my taking stock, an inventory as the Steps suggest that we do. . I began to look at the emotional life that I was leading, filled with shame and a hopelessness and dread that would not go away. I needed to get off the road and call for help. I knew that if I didn’t get help my life was going to continue to spiral downward–into what darkness and depths I was afraid to imagine. I was isolated and helpless.
Later I founded a group called Depressed Anonymous . It is a beacon of hope for me and an oasis of hope. It continually gives me a workable plan for survival. No longer did I stay a victim, but by my using the 12 Steps I discovered that my depression didn’t just come out of the blue but instead that my own shortcomings and denial of the seriousness of my problems were the problems.
Even though we have used a metaphor here, running out of oil and depression, there is so much truth that we can take from this comparison.
I now have a solution for these shorrtcomings that used to keep me off the recovery path. Now I have the guidance and the hope of the Steps. I have been shown how taking charge of my life, being responsible for the way I feel and behave at the same time staying connected with members of the Depressed Anonymous Fellowship. God has answerd my prayers. Members of the group have supported me on the right course. And by my daily reading of Depressed Anonymous literature and the meetings I attend weekly, I have a present life filled with hope…and peace.
If there is a flashing light in your life, know that there are persons out there who will get you back on the road. That is a Promise.
Copyright(C) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.