Withdrawing from friends and other social contacts is the first clue that you’re slipping back into the isolation and pain of depression. Move toward a friend, get a sponsor, and go to a 12 step meeting. Ask your higher power for that knowledge that can guide you onto the appropriate path.
There are two times that we need to go to a 12 step meeting. 1) One, when we don’t want to go to a meeting and 2) secondly when we do want to go to a meeting. From my personal experiences I can share with you that is when I go to my meeting that I’m able to come away from it with something positive to think about. I can honestly say that I feel better after a Depressed Anonymous meeting. I know in my heart that when I just want to sit at home by myself, isolating and ruminating within my head about all the horrible things that have happened to me, or are about to happen to me, that is when I depressed myself even more. Get connected!
CHOICE, NOT CHANCE DETERMINES DESTINY!
It’s our addictive thinking, our compulsive way of processing negative information, which describes how we habitually store the negative but continue to dump the positive information which 24/7 continually flows into our brain. These negative thoughts of feeling persist in keeping us falling back into the old habit of staying isolated and avoiding others. We might fool ourselves and say that people have nothing to offer me and that is why I distance myself from everyone. Part of my nature when depressed is to avoid and distance myself from whatever I feel is threatening me, like a child afraid of the dark.
I can only do what God wants me to do and I discover what this is by spending time alone with my God and meditation. Whatever we do, we need to know that our isolation and our withdrawing from friends and family, is an environment where depression grows strong. Depression dies in the light of discussion.
Dorothy Rowe in her award-winning book Depression: the way out of your prison, has an excellent section on isolation and depression. Let me quote it for you and then you can the draw your own conclusions
” Thus none of us can escape needing other people so that we can exist and not fear annihilation. But you who get depressed have decided to express your need for other people in ways which make it hard for you to live.
Take the first form of existence – wanting to be part of a group and fearing isolation. If you see yourself as basically a good person and therefore with something to offer other people, you have no fear of joining groups, of being part of the family, as much as you suffer loss, you know you’re able to find new friends and to help other people. But if you see yourself as basically a bad person, then the threat of expulsion from your group is expected and feared. Since you do not value yourself, you cannot see people as wanting you to join them, either as a friend our helper. If disaster wrenched you away from your family you cannot see yourself surviving, and so no matter how much you come to hate your family you cannot let them go. They are your reference point of existence, and you fear that if you lose them, you will disappear…
Seeing yourself as basically good reduces the need for other people’s approval. If you see yourself as basically good, you can set up a select group of people whose approval you desire and can be indifferent to the opinion of the multitude. But if you see yourself as basically bad then you need everybody’s approval…” Dorothy Rowe. Depression: the way out of your prison. 1983. Harper Collins, London, UK. Page 111.
Source: Copyright ( c) Believing is seeing: 15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2002) D AP. Louisville. Kentucky. 40216. Pages 47-50.