In our back yard, we have a 20 foot extension ladder leaning against my Granddaughter’s dollhouse. Since we really don’t have a use for it now, we just stood it up against the dollhouse. till the time comes when we do need it.
This early morning, watching the sun brighten the Eastern horizon, I thought about our ladder that goes nowhere.
It’s neither helping anyone go up or go down. No purpose presently. I thought about this ladder, standing so proudly at a slant , just waiting to be put to the use for which it was created. But the strange fact is that it stopped short in mid air. It had no real purpose –not until someone had to go up, step by step, to accomplish some intended goal.
Somehow this ladder standing there was ready for action, that is., as soon as someone needed to go up. It came to me suddenly how when I was depressed–I was like this ladder, standing up, but with no plan to go anywhere. I was motionless. I felt helpless and hopeless. And in my situation, not going anywhere, not changing my position in anyway at all, had created my indecision about direction , and I was baffled.
When I was depressed I journeyed to the top of the ladder, and knew that I had to take some action. I had to lower myself, step by step, until I hit ground zero. It was then that I made my first decision to see where I wanted to go and then go do it. I know I wanted to go where the steps promised to lead me, namely to a new life lived with hope
At ground zero I admitted that I needed help. A ladder that was headed nowhere was not going to get it for me. I knew that my life as unmanageable and that I was ;powerless. I had had it with all these ladders in my life that went nowhere. Thee were moments when I felt in control, in charge of my life. Again, there I was at the top of the ladder, having everything in life except a way out of my life threatening sadness. This continued to lead me to feel that my life was meaningless. I had lost hope in the things, with my power-seeking and the belief that I was really something. And like the Greek myth of Sisyphus rolling a rock up the hill and only to find it rolling back down the hill. He repeated the same ritual–up again and then down again. It always remained the same. No change.
But then I found the real step ladder that was going somewhere. It was taking me up to a level where I had never been before. The ladder took me up step by step, gave me the courage to find myself, gave my life meaning and continues to this day to provide me with hope and serenity for the first time in my life. Everyone who uses these step ladders will come to realize how each step that I take leads me to another step and the next step provides me with just another reason to keep on climbing.
If you feel that the ladder that you are climbing doesn’t take you anywhere positive, it’s time to go down to ground zero, and climb onto the ladder that goes somewhere. For me this ladder is the mutual aid group which we know as Depressed Anonymous.
If you want to hear how other persons have climbed this step ladder that goes somewhere then take a look at the personal stories in our manual Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.
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