Lord grant me the serenity to trust you with the things you would have me be true to you.
Courage to take the next step you’d have me take.
And wisdom to know the difference.
Joe V., member of Depressed Anonymous
“We discover that we receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give to us on order and on our terms.”
In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which to carry it out.
There is a direct linkage among self-evaluation, meditation and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakeable foundation in life.”
As Bill Sees it. Page 33.
” ‘ I asked myself “Why can’t the Twelve Steps work to release me from this unbearable depression? ” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer:” ” It is better to comfort than to be comforted.”
Suddenly I realized what the answer might be. My basic flaw had always been dependence on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security and confidence. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and speculations, I fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.
Reinforced by what grace I could find in prayer, I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people and circumstances. Then only could I be free to love as Francis had loved.
SOURCE: Bill W., co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous
Some days I feel like my life is like that small boat on the ocean. I watch as the swirling waves and the thunderous noise of waves and wind wash over me. I watch as my small boat takes on water. No land is in sight. What to do? I pray. Have you ever had these feelings of helplessness? Well, let me tell you, I have had this experience more than I would like to admit.
One time in my life, one very difficult time for sure, I thought that my boat was sinking and that there was no recourse –no land in sight. This is when that deadening feeling of melancholia (depression) –like the Pac Man arcade game – began to chew me up. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what exactly. The time to row, so to speak, was when I couldn’t get myself out of bed and knew that I had to get to land, get my body moving, the best way that I could. I had to keep rowing.
Gradually, by walking everyday, and forcing myself to do what I didn’t want to do, like exercise, I gradually regained my balance. And after a year of this activity (rowing) I began to notice that the wind howling around me gradually subsided. My boat was still afloat and I could see land. Safety. This all happened almost thirty years ago.
It was then that my 12 Step life began. Now, with each new day, before the sun pops up over the horizon, my day begins with prayer and the centering of my thoughts. In our program of recovery we call this a meditation experience. I then read the Higher Thoughts for this day. I also read the Depressed Anonymous book, plus entering thoughts in the Depressed Anonymous Workbook. All this is accomplished in that first hour of the day. I feel like I truly am now on solid rock. And it’s like I take these morning thoughts and with them begin my day. With Step Two … I “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” So this morning, I continue to “make a decision to turn my life and my will over to the care of God as we understand God to be.”
Turning my life over to to the care of God doesn’t mean I lay back and see what God is going to do…no, it means that I do my work and God will do his. And so I keep on rowing. Grab an oar!