Wednesday, January 08, 2014
I spent a very large part of my life with depression. Not the come and go kind, but the day by day constant companion kind when the world is just a grey, foggy, aching emptiness and time crawls by from one agonizing second to the next. I had everything outwardly. Husband, family, home, my own business - but I felt lost and empty and scared on the inside as if I was at the bottom of a very deep pit.
My life did not change suddenly but very slowly over the last 50 years. I could think of very little to be grateful for at that time and did not feel 'gratitude' at all.
One of the first things that helped was realising and accepting that I did have depression and that if anything was going to change I had to face that fact and stop running away from it with alcohol, sex, food, gambling - all things which gave a fleeting but short lived release, followed
by feeling even worse if that were possible. which ensured that I had to repeat the behaviour.
I started therapy and began to write daily. It was suggested I just sit down and write anything. If I couldn't think of anything then just write that. Thoughts come into our heads all the time
and writing them down where I could see them was the first step. The most important thing is absolutely no censorship. Once I got going I discovered how much pain and rage were all bottled up inside me. I found the courage to realise I hated God if there was one and I was sure I was going to Hell for even thinking it let alone writing down.
This is one of the things, the daily and often nightly writing when I couldn't sleep that began to help change my life. I began to find out who I really was, not who I thought I was, or wanted other people to think I was. I stopped pretending to be someone I wasn't - which I found out is quite different from consciously 'acting as if' in order to work into new behaviour patterns.
There was a lot I had to work through before I even began to feel a smidgen of gratitude for anything at all.
We are never alone once we ask for help. I believe that our heartfelt desire for the answer put out there into the Universe, to God, to whatever you personally believe there is, even if you don't believe in anything at all. That desperate desire from within seems to set in motion everything we need for our own particular journey.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
“All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry - all forms of fear - are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I am wishing you all the blessings of peace and joy that so many of us do not find at this time of year. My first sober Christmas I spent most of the time in bed trying not to think about what everyone else was doing. All my pre AA friends were out partying and I was alone, cold on the inside as well as the outside, scared and so lonely and miserable. For me emotional recovery took a long, long time. I used to be amazed at how others seemed to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in a few weeks, or months and finally even years in the AA programme. My progress has been very slow and painful, but these days I am rejoicing for everything I have been through. I would not change what I am finding now for anything else.
Why it takes some of us so long to let go is a mystery. Perhaps I was so used to thinking that the only way to get anywhere was to fight for it, that I was just unable to surrender. The saving grace for me over those early years is that I did not pick up a drink. I so wanted to 'make things work' and be the sort of person I wanted to be rather than look at who I was and accept that and learn to live within those limits.
I wanted to be healed and travel the world telling others about the wonders and power of God. I wanted to be like those, whose names are on everyone's lips. I wanted to be special.
I discovered what others can do is of no benefit to me - or anyone else. What seems to bring peace is being who I am and finding a way through the darkness that leads to peace and freedom.
I know this is something I say many times but it is the very defects themselves (many of them that I actually thought were my good points) were the very things that were standing in my way. I wanted to be good, I wanted to be spiritual, I wanted to be worthy of God's love.
That old saying about "standing in our own light" applied to me 100% but I could not see it. I could not let go of who I wanted to be and accept who I was. And yet it was at that very point, when I reached it, that things started to improve. Being a failure in everything I held most dear was the point at which I surrendered - long after accepting I was an alcoholic, I reached the place of acceptance of who I was and became willing to let go of trying to make myself be someone else.
Learning to love and accept who I was turned out to be the beginning of learning how to love, accept and forgive. I spent so long trying to be 'good' and 'do the right thing'. I am not saying all that time was wasted because it led me to where I needed to be. I can never make myself good enough. The very best I can do is surrender to a Power Greater than myself and accept what is.
Thankfully pain and suffering finally led me to that place of surrender and forced me to let go.
I accepted and began to love and take care of the lost little me that I was.
These days I never underestimate the power of these two great companions - they can be transformed into the most priceless jewels.
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