I think the idea of an “ultimate concern” for one’s life is critical and can gives a laser-like focus to one’s choices. I believe that it is in our relationships and diverse human encounters along the trajectory of our lives that can either produce meaning to our decision making or cause us to make unwise choices. My life had only one concern, and that concern was in making sure that I had the next “fix” assuring me that each day I would stumble onto that elixir, that potion, which took away my ability to say “no” to those areas of my life which not only kept me paralyzed but powerless.
All this came about while I was in my mid-forties, and my life took on a sudden and radical change, a result of a lack of having any ultimate concern in my life. It was like my life was without a “mission statement” so to speak, no ultimate goal or objective etched in my thinking, to guide me in my life and decision making. There was no one at the tiller; I was adrift in a turbulent sea. I had lost sight of my North Star. All the while, darkness enveloped me and the storms of life threw me overboard. I was like Jonah swallowed up in the belly of the whale.
Seeking help and finding the help of a group of men and women (Depressed Anonymous) all focused on their own “ultimate concern” of helping others, they continue to find their own way out of the their own prison of helplessness.
Like all members of the fellowship, using the 12 spiritual principles of the twelve steps, we found our way out of hopelessness. We finally found hope and a purpose for living. Our 12 step spirituality keeps me undepressed today and I am thriving one day at a time. That’s all I am given. Today. I have a gift to share with others and that gift keeps on giving through others like me whose life today has a new meaning and purpose.
You will not grow if you sit in a beautiful garden, but you will grow if you are sick, if you are in pain, if your experience loss, and if you do not put your head in the sand, but take the pain as a gift to you with a very, very specific purpose.
Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross, On Death And Dying: Stages of dying discussed, 1960
I grant that my own depression experience was the worst pain in my life. I have taken that pain from my own life, I have accepted it and now I can see that for these past thirty years, and from my own experience and recovery, continues every day to be my gift to others. For that reason it has provided me with a very specific purpose, namely, to tell my story how there is hope and that you do recover!
Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, THIRD EDITION. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY.