I am going to make an effort today to take pleasure in some simple things as I did when I was a child.
“We need to get in touch with these feelings from our childhood days and try to remember when we made ourselves sad and what situation today makes us feel sad. There sometimes is a connection between the two. We know this return to early childhood feelings is one of the best ways to get a beginning in our self-healing.”
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
I can never forget how in the third grade I was unable to satisfactorily answer the teacher’s question to me and she immediately told me how I would never by like my brother. I had felt the blood flush to my face as I was humiliated for not knowing the right answer. I can still see myself standing in front of the class and feeling like I wanted to die.
The best thing that I can do to overcome the times when I want to run and hide in myself and withdraw from others , is precisely the time that I should be with someone. I am going to promise myself when these feelings come, I will think of those different persons that I know in my recovery program and call them. When I do this the feelings gradually disappear.
I want to feel better today. In order to do so, I am going to choose to work the Steps of my program and enjoy the fellowship whenever I am able. Whenever I go to my Depressed Anonymous meetings, I always come out feeling better.
I thank God today for all those persons in my life who support me and accept me just as I am today.
SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step recovery groups. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville
“…Because addicted individuals generally possess such strong feelings of shame, embarrassment and self-loathing, it is extremely curative when they learn that they can be viewed by others in a positive manner.
…Shame, a more profound feeling all alcoholics and addicts (saddicts) struggle with implies “I feel bad because of what I am.” Addiction from this view implies that group therapy must enhance the self understanding and the acceptance that one is worthwhile despite their strong feelings of self loathing and self-hatred. (The Depressed Anonymous Fellowship Group. ED) ….before a person can be healed, they have to know they can heal another. …It is this opportunity to learn that one has the ability to help another in being a healer which supports the use of group psychotherapy. In fact, this is the very same principle which AA (DA) applies within the Twelfth Step of its Twelve Step program for recovery. The alcoholic and the addict (saddict) maintains their own sobriety by helping another alcoholic get sober.” Source excerpts: Group Psychotherapy with Addicted Populations. , (1988) Flores, Phillip J., The Haworth Press. NY
Likewise, the person depressed has a better chance of overcoming depression when they hear someone else, with the same situation, feeling better and overcoming their depression.
SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.Louisville.
I choose to live in my skin and feel my feelings today.
ALAN WATTS SAID, “THERE IS NEVER ANYTHING BUT THE PRESENT, AND IF ONE CANNOT LIVE THERE, ONE CANNOT LIVE ANYWHERE.” (3)
CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT
To live in the present is difficult because usually when I am depressed I live in the faults, losses, guilt, and shame world of the past. The horrible past with all its hurts, imperfections and sins make it impossible but for me to live in yesterday.
I am gradually learning how to live, one day at a time. I am also picking up on how to see the red flags that pop up in my mind whenever I have a thought, or an action that indicates a need to sad myself. I have to admit defeat over what happened yesterday, accept myself for today and just thank God that I am alive and that I can choose to feel differently right now.
I accept the present as my only dwelling place . I find that the more I am in touch with my present feelings, the more I can grow into a healthier human being.
God you told us that we had enough troubles today and that we didn’t need to live in tomorrow. Our depression will be diminished the more we take charge of our lives today, utilizing your guidance that we receive in quietly listening to your voice.
SOURCE: Higher thoughts for down days: 365 daily thoughts and meditations for 12 Step fellowship groups.
I remember with a great amount of clarity a situation that shaped my entire life. The event happened more than 5 decades ago. The shaming event happened in the third grade. The teacher asked me a question which I couldn’t answer correctly. She asked me twice and the more that I tried to think what answer she wanted the more flustered I became. For years, I could feel the heat in my face. I know my face must have been beet red. There I was standing alone in the middle of the seated classmates and feeling lost. And then she said those words that are imprinted on what seems like every synapse and cell in my brain.
“You will never be like your brother.” ( He happened to be two years ahead of me in school. He was really smart). And then she compared me to my uncle who happened to be a Bible scholar whom she knew. By that time my face felt like it was burning up. And it wasn’t til decades later that I no longer felt the fiery warmth on my face as I thought about standing there, alone, in front of the class. The feelings of heat welled up from inside of me as I even thought about that event those years later. I was shamed. Shamed clear through. Every part of me felt absolutely worthless and alone. Shame produced in me the feeling that I was a MISTAKE. Not that I made a simple English grammar mistake –but that I was a mistake. This shame gradually withered away the more I shared with others my experience.
Put simply: Guilt is when you do something that is bad and you know it, and then you feel bad about what you did or didn’t do.
So feeling you are a mistake –feeling all alone, unacceptable to self and others, creates a person who tends to hide, isolate and feel no purpose for their lives. In my case, it was after getting into a 12 step program of recovery that others were having the same feelings about themselves as I was. It was here in the context of forming a trusting relationship with those like myself, that I slowly clawed my way out of my own little painful world, into a world where I was accepted for who I was. My story, was accepted and I was given the tools to live a life filled now with hope, serenity and purpose.