How true that “if we are fooling ourselves, a competent advisor (sponsor) can see this quickly. And, as he skillfully guides us away from our fantasies, we are surprised to find that we have few of the usual urges to defend ourselves against unpleasant truths. In no other way can fear, pride, and ignorance be so readily melted. After a time, we realize that we are standing firm on a brand-new foundation for integrity, and we gratefully credit our sponsors whose advice pointed the way.
— Bill w., in As Bill Sees It. Page 248.
Dr. Rowe in her book WHAT SHOULD I BELIEVE, asked her client Julie this question:
“Suppose you were faced with a situation where you could act only in one of two ways. If you acted one way people would like you, but you wouldn’t respect yourself, and if you acted the way people wouldn’t like you but you would respect yourself. If you were faced with that, which would you choose, respecting yourself or other people liking you?”
Julie answered immediately, “Respecting myself. That’s one of my standards. I realized that at university. One thing about depression, it does make you independent because you don’t care about popularity. You must function without other people anyway, so it doesn’t really matter about other people. I suppose you just live like an observer, observing people, the way they live, and just get a bit cynical. I am very scornful of people who do things just to be popular. I analyze myself and other people constantly, and “honesty and integrity” is the byword. ….” Page 203-204.
Hugh’s comment follows
Julie makes an interesting statement where she says that “depression, it does make you independent.” That statement, like the one in the above paragraph made me stop and reflect on my own experience with depression. Did the experience, painful and immobilizing as it happened to be, did it make me more independent? In some ways I think it did. Like, I was more sure of myself as I learned more about my character and how some areas of my negative thinking and behavior were the cause of the spiraling downward of my person into the dark pit of depression. First of all, I became more aware of my thinking processes and nailed the times that I was beating myself up or not watching the way I ate and the fact of my great need of exercise which I was neglecting. No matter what, I now am embarked on a healthier lifestyle and am convinced that the Twelve Steps continually help me assess my strengths and defects of character. Yes, Julie is right. I am more independent. Now, instead of going about my life in a mindless fashion I am mindful of what prevents me from being in the present moment. I now try to center myself, by my daily prayer and meditation times. All this is critical to my staying sane and serene. What do you think?