When I was a child I was full of imagination. I believed anything was possible. My friends and I played all day long in the summer. We were safe in our neighborhood and we used our imagination to make up games. We didn’t need expensive toys or television or computer games. We were outside in the fresh air with our friends.
I remember playing that we were shipwrecked and our raft was a beach lounge chair. We played games that required us to move and think and work as both individuals and as a team. We played games like hide and seek, baseball, kickball, and others that we made up as we went along.
I also was full of questions and really wanted to learn. My brother started school two years before me and I remember going to school that first day with my mother to drop him off. A lot of the children were crying because they didn’t want their mother to leave them. I was crying too. I wanted to stay and could not as I was not old enough for Kindergarten. In my neighborhood there were no children my age. The ones around my home were older so they were in school. The kids up the street were younger than me so they couldn’t play with me. My parents decided to send me to pre-school. This was unheard of in the 1950s as most children remained at home with their mother. When my mother took me to the pre-school, it was actually part of a private school that included elementary school. The teacher started asking me questions, which I answered. The questions included simple math. She accepted me in the class but then another teacher arrived and explained that I wasn’t there for the first grade class, I was supposed to be in preschool. I had been so eager to learn that I was absorbing everything my brother or mother taught me and had I been allowed I would have jumped ahead. That was not allowed so slowly but surely my eagerness to learn was being squashed.
Most of the time I used my imagination to amuse myself as there were no children my age and when the kids who lived around me were in school I had no playmates. So I had a whole stable of imaginary horses that I rode each day. I wrote down all their names and descriptions including breeds. I had imaginary birds and imaginary dogs and learned all about the different breeds.
When I started school I was bored. We were told what to do, when to do it, and what to think. We were supposed to sit still and listen, not think. I used to pretend I was a spy in school and I had to learn what was being taught but I really didn’t belong there. I would make notes to take back to my superiors to report to them what was being taught.
I even played school by myself and learned from encyclopedias subjects they did not teach in school at the time. I studied about dinosaurs for example, which was not discussed in the 1950s. I used my imagination to start writing a book. I studied about all the religions in the world. I continued to search on my own even though in the classroom I was bored.
As years went by I learned quickly what was expected and memorized and regurgitated the information I was supposed to assimilate. On the rare occasion when we encountered an individual who wanted us to think independently, I found I could not do so. I had lost the ability as I was no longer exercising my brain. I had become a follower, just like everyone else around me. It was drummed into me that it was a waste of time and energy to try something new. I was told it would (I would) fail.
Any time I became excited about an opportunity, my enthusiasm was squashed. Through my college classes and subsequent experiences as a social worker it became clear to me how depressed and down trodden most of us are. It has become commonplace for adults to be on antidepressants. The people I encounter are working to live or just get by. Very few of them enjoy their jobs.
Before I joined the Neothink Society, I was depressed. From sometime during my pre-teen years I knew this. I never tried to take my own life but the predominate hope each night was that I would not wake up the next day. I felt alone, that no one really cared about me and that I couldn’t really open up and let anyone really know who I was. I only found solace in sleeping, eating, and sometimes watching television. Anything that I could use as an escape. I didn’t do drugs and drinking didn’t entice me as I already felt like I had no control of my life and those two things would make me have less control. Once I got to college I resigned myself to the fact that depression was part of life and I had to move on and keep going. I believed that nothing could change how I felt.
I believed that I had to get an education to find a good job but the jobs dangled in front of us like carrots, were illusions. I went from career to career and never found satisfaction. The jobs did not allow me to think on my own as there was always someone telling me what to think and what to say. But I believed I had no choice and had to work at these boring dead end jobs that I hated because that is the only way I will make money to live. I worked to live not lived to work.
The only job I enjoyed was being a social worker. I investigated child abuse and neglect cases and it made me feel good because I was helping to change people’s lives. Most of the time when I told the families that I had enough evidence to substantiate that there was abuse or neglect going on and that we were going to stay involved in their lives, there was a visible sign of relief. I am not just speaking about the children, but the parents as well. They were also stuck in a situation that they felt they couldn’t control. Unfortunately, some of this was perpetuated by the government. Single mothers who couldn’t get jobs that paid enough to provide day care and health care to their children were forced to go on welfare. If they wanted to provide for themselves they would lose their benefits. They were stuck in this situation and it led to low self esteem and more depression. The children were raised in this atmosphere and soon became just like their parents.
My co-workers, also suffered and their marriages started falling apart. I wasn’t in a relationship at that time as my life revolved around my job. It became a drug to me, wanting to help so much that I actually took on another role outside my usual hours and went on call every fifth week on nights and weekends to cover emergency calls and investigations. One day a police office and I had to disarm a psychotic mother and get her child away from her so she would not be harmed. Everyone was calling us “Starsky and Hutch” as it wasn’t usual for social workers to be that involved with a police operation but I found myself doing it. The adrenalin rush was addictive. I was given more cases involving psychotic mothers (many of whom didn’t speak English) and drug addicted mothers who gave birth to addicted babies. Although the majority of my families were being helped we were only putting a band aid on the problem. A lot of my co-workers were getting burned out trying to put out the fires as we had no way to prevent them from starting in the first place. I chose to leave my job as I could no longer continue to the point where I would become burned out myself. I also eventually wanted to have a husband and raise a family and this was not conducive to either.
I moved back home to be near my family as both my parents had been in the hospital the previous year. I tried working for several companies and either didn’t get the satisfaction or my job was eliminated. Hard work and loyalty was no guarantee of a lifetime job. And that is what they all became….just a job. I no longer had the hope of a career as nothing was exciting to me. I had to work and saw myself working long into my 70s or even 80s if my health will permit because Social Security would not be enough to live on.
The depression still persisted. In my late 40s I started having some problems and after having an operation I was told to start taking hormones. I listened to the doctors for a few years until they agreed I could stop taking them. My depression became even worse. I had become very good over my lifetime of hiding my feelings and being fairly cheery at work. However, now I found myself bursting into tears for no good reason at work. When I came home I would very easily tear up watching movies or television. It was like the tip of the iceberg, I never released this and kept pushing down the feelings over and over again. I was desperate so I started taking Antidepressants. During the time (over two years) I moved up to the maximum dose.
I had occasional conversations with friends who agreed that the politicians were working with special interest groups which meant we were not getting what we needed as a society and that they were all in it for the power and the money. We also agreed that and the FDA was stopping terminally ill persons from trying things that may save their lives or at least help us find a cure for their disease (What is the point of this – they were given a death sentence anyway – who would it hurt to let them try the treatment?). More people around me were fed up, but no one felt we could do anything so we resigned ourselves to our plight and became even more depressed.
When I learned about the Neothink Society something sparked inside me. Wow!, I thought, Could there really be a group of people who feels as I do, that we need to change ourselves and the world and that there is a way to do it? Are there really people out there that are ready to make things change? A lot of people are fed up but stagnation and fear keep them from doing anything.
I was skeptical.. I wondered if there was someone publishing the material just to make money and give me false hope and that there really weren’t any individuals out there that I could actually meet. I received an online meeting that promised I could meet with others locally but I wondered if it was true. The first time I met with some of the members locally I was blown away. There actually are real people who believe that we can change our lives for the better. The love and encouragement that exists within our circle is amazing. Every time we meet it is apparent that we are growing and evolving. The changes are apparent to us. Having a nurturing supportive group of people makes a big difference and I am now able to do things I never believed were possible. It just took my hearing from one person via email and then she told me where some members were meeting. I was eager to meet in person so I went. At this point I was still in the follower mode (although very cautious). I met about five people the first time and then offered my home for the next meeting. Within a couple of months our group had grown. And during that time I actually have been encouraged and challenged to become the person I am meant to be. The rusty gears in my brain were actually working and I was thinking on my own. I was able to come up with questions to be discussed and some answers that would benefit all of us and the rest of civilization.
Our group coordinator decided to move to another state and she passed on her job to me! I didn’t believe at first that I could do this but it soon became apparent to me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and that the excitement and confidence I had as a child is returning. Getting to know the members that I interact with on a weekly basis (by phone, email or in person), it is obvious that the same thing is happening to them. No matter what background we are coming from, Neothink has given us the tools; and the encouragement and support we are giving each other is the catalyst to our becoming the persons and self-leaders we are meant to be. The sky is the limit!!
While all this has been happening to me, I discovered something. I no longer need my medication. My doctor and I had already discussed that I could stop it if I wanted to but I never felt ready. One day, I was so busy, that I forgot to take it. Then the same thing happened the next day, so I thought that I would see how I did at work for a few days. So far so good! It has been almost two months now. No one at work realized that I stopped the antidepressants as I don’t appear depressed. In spite of the “fires” I occasionally have to put out at work, I am noticeably happier and calmer. One of my salesman even asked me if I had started happy hour early as my positive mood was so apparent. I told him I had not been drinking that there was no need.
Another thing that makes me extremely happy is that I also know that this job is only temporary as I am learning how to work toward becoming successful in a career of my own choosing, where I can help other to create values for themselves.
The Neothink Society has given me the tools to do this and unlike other organizations, who tell us what to do, think and say we are encouraged to think and be independent. We have been shown a powerful way to do this which all members learn. We are given the freedom to grow and develop in ways that only we can decide.
I feel honored that Mark H. chose me to be one of his apprentices to learn the secrets directly from him. I look forward to being able to be part of the movement to make everyone’s world a better place to live and to enrich everyone’s lives not just a select few. This isn‘t about power, control or greed. We can all be successful. We can all support and help each other. In time everyone who has a desire can learn how to make this happen in their own lives.