Saint-Exupery said that to “be a man, a woman, an adult, is to accept responsibility.” And during those years that are bracketed by the dawning of conscience and end of adolescence (seven to ten) we must –by slowly expanding the dominion of what we can be responsible for –become our own grownup.
We must start claiming as ours the welter of hungers and angers and conflicts that dwell inside of us. We must also start learning to tie our own shoes. And as we extend the realm and the reign of our consciousness and competence we will find ourselves moving farther and farther from home. In the phase that Freud labeled “latency” …we leave the benevolent fortress of family life. Our job as a latency kid is to acquire the social and psychological know how without which we cannot manage this new separation, these new necessary losses.
As healthy adults we feel our self to be lovable, valuable, genuine. We feel our self’s “selfsameness.” We feel unique. And instead of seeing our self as the passive victim of our inner and outer world, as acted upon as helpless and as weak, we acknowledge our self to be the responsible agent and determining force of our life….
Because as healthy adults we know that reality cannot offer us perfect safety or unconditional love.
We many be a long time learning that life is, at best, “a dream controlled” –that reality is built of perfect connections. ”
SOURCES: Necessary Losses, Judith Viorst. SImon and Schuster, NY. 1986. p. 142-143; 168-169. ( Quoted in The Antidepressant Tablet, Volume 3:2. Page 6. 1991.
Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. KY.
“Hold these as if they were real, absolute and immutable truths these following six options.
- No matter how good and nice I appear to be, I am really bad, evil, valueless, unacceptable to myself and to others.
- Other people are such that I must fear, hate and envy them.
- Life is terrible and death is worse.
- Only bad things happened to me in the past and only bad things will happen to me in the future.
- It is wrong to get angry.
- I must never forgive anyone, least of all myself.”
Excerpted from the book by Dorothy Rowe: Depression. The way out of your depression. Routledge and Kegan Paul. London. 1983. Page 15.
Comment by Hugh S.
I believe that the above list of the six immutable beliefs is an accurate summation of the major beliefs that one needs to hold if they want to truly stay walled up in their prison of depression. And as Dorothy Rowe always brings out so dramatically -if you build the prison you can likewise take the walls down.
You dismantle your depression by thoroughly examining your own beliefs and how you construct your world. It’s in the way we usually think about ourselves and the world that enables us to predict with accuracy the way things turn out. If I believe my life is hopeless and that I am an evil person, that fact that someone claims that I am not that way still won’t change the way that I believe about myself. The way I have constructed my world will invariably set my life up in a way so that I will feel hopeless and evil. It is only when I find out that others who once had the same negative mind constructs and thoughts about themselves, but who now are living with hope that I am beginning to listen and take note. Is there really a way out of this prison of depression?
People who know the painful and deadening experience of depression realize that they can never just Snap out of their deadness. Just as their sadness feels like it can never come to an end, so does their ability to do anything about the hopelessness seem impossible. But once the depressed person begins to share their story and the history of their personal experience of sadness the more that can experience hope and the possibility that maybe they too can escape depression.
Not only do I see people who are depressed gradually start to live with hope and energy but I also see this happen more quickly while they are engaged in a group of other depressed persons. In time, with a person’s involvement with the group they sense a feeling that they aren’t alone any more and that they can make a choice to try and feel differently. In other words, they will be meeting on a regular basis with people who will never say SNAP OUT OF IT but instead will say I’M WITH YOU. They will also find a new family where they are accepted, understood and strengthened for the work they need to do on themselves to get better. Again, I can’t emphasize it enough how Depressed Anonymous is the program to follow if you want to start feeling better.”
SOURCE: Copyright(c)The Antidepressant Tablet. Volume 2:1. 1990.