Posted by: Seth David | July 6, 2009

What do I do when I need a pick me up?

Believe it or not, sometimes I feel down. I say this because most people who know me these days know me to be a pretty up beat person almost all of the time. So what do I do when I am feeling down? First thing is to remember what is says in step 4 on page 45 of the 12 & 12:

If temperamentally we are on the depressive side, we are apt to be swamped with guilt and self-loathing. We wallow in this messy bog, often getting a misshapen and painful pleasure out of it. As we morbidly pursue this melancholy activity, we may sink to such a point of despair that nothing but oblivion looks possible as a solution. Here, of course, we have lost all perspective, and therefore all genuine humility. For this is pride in reverse. This is not a moral inventory at all; it is the very process by which the depressive has so often been led to the bottle and extinction. 

This is where I am reminded that this is a dangerous place for me to be. So what do I need to do to get out of it? Visualization is what has helped me the most. This can often be accompanied by meditation.

When such thoughts break in, we might recall, a little ruefully, how much store we used to set by imagination as it tried to create reality out of bottles. Yes, we reveled in that sort of thinking, didn’t we? And though sober nowadays, don’t we often try to do much the same thing? Perhaps our trouble was not that we used our imagination. Perhaps the real trouble was our almost total inability to point imagination toward the right objectives. There’s nothing the matter with constructive imagination; all sound achievement rests upon it. After all, no man can build a house until he first envisions a plan for it. Well, meditation is like that, too; it helps to envision our spiritual objective before we try to move toward it. So let’s get back to that sunlit beach— or to the plains or to the mountains, if you prefer. 

12 & 12 P. 100 3rd Par

So when I am feeling down the thing that helps me the most is to meditate and think in terms of the person I want to be. I allow myself to feel what it feels like to be that person. A good husband, a good friend, and good pet owner (I love my dogs). Often times I just think of them when I am not at home and it brings a smile to my face. I think of something funny that they did and I feel good. Try it. Think about the last time you got some really good news, or better yet think about the good news you are hoping to get soon. Feel it. Feel what it feels like. If you do this properly then you will actually feel good while you are thinking about these things. The next thing you realize is that you can feel this way any time. All you have to do is think the thoughts and you feel the feelings. So the “event” you are thinking about doesn’t actually have to be taking place, you just have to think about the event that makes you feel happy and the feeling comes about. This means that my feelings are completely within my control at any given moment. My feelings are a direct reflection of my thoughts. The paragraph I cited above is right out of the 12 & 12 and it encapsulates the entire concept of the book The Secret in one paragraph. We can expand upon this of course. This tells me that the way I am feeling is authorized by me and no one else.

When I got out of my second rehab and got clean this last time around I remember that I began to think about the kind of life I wanted. This was new. I had been trying for about 3 years to get clean with no success. The whole time I was thinking about the life I didn’t want instead of thinking about the life I wanted. The laws of the universe dictate that I get what I am thinking about even if I am thinking I don’t want it. So thinking about not having a life with drugs lead me back to a life with drugs over and over again. It wasn’t until I started thinking about the life I wanted that I started to really change. The life I began to envision for myself simply didn’t have drugs and alcohol in the picture. More recently I finally began to lose weight. I have been trying this for 3 years (seems like a pattern – it takes me 3 years to realize what I need to do in order to start actually changing). The difference in my thinking was that I stopped thinking about trying to lose weight. Instead I began to visualize what I wanted to look like and perhaps more importantly I visualized myself as a strong person in good shape. I began to feel the feelings of being strong and healthy. All of a sudden like magic the weight started dropping off. It was amazing to experience this. 

In my first few years clean I was working as an employee but I began to develop a concept of the sort of life I wanted on the side of my career. I knew I liked being in front of a computer, but I didn’t want to be confined to a computer. I also like people and wanted to be around them some of the time. I also did not want to have to go to an office every day. I like having different places to go to. It breaks up the monotony. I knew I loved to play with numbers and I loved excel. QuickBooks came about later on as a natural progression. The point here is that I had a specifically general (if that makes any sense) concept of what I wanted. One day about 2 years ago I was on the phone with my brother and talking about what I was up to with Nerd Enterprises and he shot something back to me that hit me really hard. He said it was as if God paved the perfect career path for me. All of the things I love to do. I could never have conceived this based on my general description of what I wanted, but now that it has come together the way it has I am blown away at how perfect it is.

Over the years it has gotten easier to maintain my upbeat demeanor. It wasn’t always like this, but it’s hard not to be happy most of the time these days. All I really ever need to do is look around myself and it’s right in front of me. My wife is my best friend, ever. If The City of Burbank would allow it, I would have 3 more dogs, but the 3 I have are amazing. They bring so much love and joy. Like I said earlier I just need to think about them at any given moment and I can’t help but smile a huge smile. I think about my wife and the same things happen. The way that I got here was by creative visualization and a lot of hard work. Let me be clear that just thinking about these things will not make them happen. The thoughts will bring on the positive feelings which will in turn motivate me. Then I will attract and set the things in motion that need to be in motion in order to bring my thoughts to reality. So the real answer is meditation for me, but of course I need to do this stuff in order. Before meditation was going to work with complete effectiveness I had to grasp steps 1 – 10. Nowadays I have to apply the principles of all 12 steps to my life and then I can remember that they are a group of principles which means I just need to touch one and I’ve come into contact with all of them.

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