"Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance - urges quite appropriate to age seventeen - prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven or fifty-seven."
"Since AA began, I've taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually. God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse! Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round."
"How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy, and good living - well, that's not only the neurotic's problem, it's the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to the right principles in all our affairs."
Our stories, "before and after," we repeatedly hear in the "How It Works" reading, makes clear the idea that "we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives." I have found that my dependence on being able to manage my life so that I received what I thought I needed as far as security, love and social standing with my fellows turned out, as it did for Bill, to end in crushing disappointments and the very real, grave and life-threatening onset of depression. However, when I have truly surrendered the management of life to the source that already controls it - surrendered life to life itself - I have found that my dependencies and my depression recede, and that I have those precious commodities I need to sustain me, the experience of a loving God-consciousness and the serenity of emotional sobriety.
That being said, Bill notes that he found the beginning of a solution to his grave emotional problem with depression in realizing he could not be both dependent on others and reliant upon God to meet his true needs:
"Plainly," he observes, "I could not avail myself of God's love until I was able to offer it back to him by loving others as he would have me. And I couldn't possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies."
"For my dependency meant demand - a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me."
Of course, as it is recognized, I first had to be honest and willing to face the reality of how I had I subtly tried to manage life myself. This was the honesty and humility I needed to cope with depresssion - a "grave mental and emotional disorder" which can be overcome if I manifest my God-given capacity to be honest with myself.