STAYING IN THE PRESENT
“Today is all that we have. Don’t let dwelling on yesterday’s hurts and fears or about tomorrow, rob you of peace today. Contrary as to what you might have thought – you are responsible for how you think and feel.
Many of us in the program, no matter what our compulsion happens to be, prefer living in the past and/or the next day. We have a difficult time living through each day – it’s too risky to have to feel the pain of the moment. But we know that the pain of the present moment needs to be felt if we are to reduce the lifelong misery which is ours, unless we face the enemy and deal with it. It is a promise of the program that we hand over and let God deal with us in God’s time and in God’s own way. We know that God, with our assistance and work, that our life can be straightened out. Like the old Russian saying goes, “Pray, but keep rowing to shore.”
Now that we have learnt how to take care of ourselves and our recovery, we now believe that we are responsible for finding a way out of our depression. We can blame our sadness on our genes, hormones or a chemical imbalance. All this finger pointing can’t prevent us from having to take full responsibility for finding and using that map which points the way out of the darkness of depression. Since we have been involved in the 12 Step program of recovery we continue to learn the “how” of working our way out of our sadness in the context of the fellowship of the group.
The best way to LIVE TODAY is to be fully conscious of the present moment and create that strong desire to be part of it. Let’s not live in yesterday -the rent can kill you.
How often do I spend time in tomorrow and so miss the joy of today? I think one of the more serious occupations (aren’t they all serious?) of the depressed is to just to sit and think, and think some more about how bad life is and what awful people they are. This self-bashing makes one’s ability to change even more difficult, as continued depressive ruminations promote a sense of unworthiness and confusion. We feel that we have no control over what happens in our life. Actually, we are not so sure that we should care. Everything seems hope less. Living in yesterday is to pay some high priced rent-and once you’re done paying the rent, you still have nothing to show for it.
I want to be responsible for my depression even though I feel it’s difficult to face the fact that one of the ways of getting out of my prison is to stay and face the pain of my sadness–today. I have to live in the here and now. I can’t run and hide in the unknown of tomorrow or disappear into the gloomy fog of yesterday. We begin to get mentally healthy when we take it upon ourselves to admit 1) I have a problem, and 2) I need to change the way I think about myself and my world. Again, no one need blame us for the fact that we got ourselves depressed – we learn that we need to take full responsibility for our recovery. And one of the best ways to break our dependency on our sadness is to share/admit our depression with members of our Depressed Anonymous groups. We know how depression flourishes and grows strong in the privacy and solitude of our minds. Depression gradually dies in the light of open sharing and frank discussion. We are only as weak as the secrets we keep.”
SOURCE: Believing is seeing: 15 Ways to leave the prison of depression. Hugh Smith (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, KY. pages 37-40.
Please VISIT THE STORE at www.depressedanon .com for a more complete list of literature which deals specifically with depression and the 12 spiritual principles of the 12 Steps of recovery. You will be glad that you did.